Are you happy? Sue Ward, benefits fraud investigator

I've been doing this job for nine and a half years. The public phone in and report people committing fraud. We start an investigation. There are lots of innovative surveillance methods. We can hide cameras in things like cuddly toys that we then put in our vehicle. We use intelligence sources and make inquiries with banks and schools. Maybe a single parent is living with a partner; a person who says they're disabled is not. We need to get video evidence. I can sometimes see people have difficult lives and I feel upset for them, especially when there are children involved.

If I say my job makes me happy, it makes me sound insensitive. People we're prosecuting are not happy with the job I've done, and the cases where a person pleads not guilty and goes to trial can be stressful, but it's a job that needs doing and I get satisfaction from it. It's hard to leave the work behind, but I've learned how to let it go for a few hours.

I have love in my life - that's what brings me happiness. I let the people around me know how precious they are. I guess I'm a bit of a romantic.

My favourite programme is Spooks. I feel like a detective sometimes. What I do makes me more observant, more aware of the vibes that come from people. I've learned about body language, things with hands that can indicate someone's not telling the truth. My husband says, "You notice things more." That's right. I'm happier because of it.

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