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Universal Credit Scam

GeoarkGeoark Community champion, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,347 Disability Gamechanger
The BBC is reporting that a scam offering government grants or pay day loans are being offered, but instead are being registered onto Universal Credit. 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48887753

While the scam itself should raise alarm bells when people are desperate and are often vulnerable they will grab at whatever hope there is.

How does the scam work?

  • The fraudster contacts the claimant and says they can get them a government grant or a payday loan.
  • The claimant hands over their details and the fraudster makes a universal credit application on their behalf, sometimes unbeknown to the claimant.
  • The DWP approves the claim and transfers the money into the claimant's bank account, whereupon the fraudster demands a hefty "fee".
  • The scammer takes a large chunk of the cash, and disappears.
  • But because the money is a loan, the claimant is then left owing the entire amount to the DWP.

The scam is currently predominantly in the North West but with such easy pickings it is likely to move to different areas.

One official told the BBC  "the Department for Work and Pensions estimates 10% of the 100,000 or more advances paid monthly are potentially bogus."


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Replies

  • Dotty123Dotty123 Member Posts: 492 Pioneering
    This iv should never of been allowed if peaple do that they lose out as iv would never believe they didn’t apply we need a reshuffle bout uc as peaple are starving penniless and no one cares is this really our country those not from here seem to get everything they want unfair 
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,946 Scope community team
    Thanks for sharing this @Geoark. It's terrible that vulnerable people are being targeted like this and I'd strongly urge someone who's approached to listen to your instincts. Everyone should treat their personal information for benefits in the same way they would treat it for their bank. If you think you've been targeted, report the scam.
    It's very widespread. I was actually approached the other week by someone offering me a 'low-cost loan from the government' via Facebook and I can see why people might fall victim to it. Those perpetrating the scam are very persuasive and very personable.
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
  • AlexW_ScopeAlexW_Scope Scope Posts: 215 Pioneering
    Citizens Advice has a free helpline for advice on online scams. Contact a Scams Action adviser by calling 0300 330 3003.

    The service is open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Geoark   Thanks for sharing with the community.

    I subscribe to The Which Magazine which gives a lot of information and details on recent scams and frauds.

    Worth subscribing to.

    So many out there.

    Take care.

    @thespiceman
    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
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