One article from The News in Portsmouth has alerted families on benefits of a scam linked to Universal Credit. https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/crime/warning-as-fraudsters-dressed-in-suits-con-people-into-taking-out-universal-credit-in-new-scam-1-8923710
But it is happening in other places too, and Hillingdon Citizen Advice Bureau published the same warning, and advice about conmen going door to door, pretending to be DWP staff. Read their release below:
Release from Hillingdon Citizen Advice Bureau
Smartly-dressed scammers in the local area have been offering people interest-free loans or quick cash, in return for a fee. Sometimes they refer to it as a “government loan”
Some have been going door-to-door, pretending they are DWP staff calling to help with claims for Universal Credit.
Others have approached people in pubs, offering them money in return for proof of identity and their bank account details.
They may target people in your neighbourhood!
Having all your details, they set up a Universal Credit claim in your name and get you a benefit advance, but take a share of this – often hundreds of pounds.
They don’t tell you this stops your other benefits and tax credits, that you can’t go back to these once you are on Universal Credit and that you could get less money on UC.
You also have to pay back all of the loan from your benefits, including the money the scammer takes from you.
If someone tries to scam you, call the police. DWP and Citizens Advice staff NEVER COLD CALL to make benefit claims.