Cash-strapped targeted by identity thieves in Universal Credit scam

Crooks are targeting the financially vulnerable – offering then ‘free grants’ or ‘low cost loans’ that are actually an advance payment for a state benefit.

An alert has today been issued by police following more than 60 complaints to Action Fraud.

People are warned that the money is not a loan or a grant – it is an advance payment for Universal Credit.

Crooks use personal information given by victims to make fraudulent applications for the state benefit.

Police say: “After the fraudsters have taken their ‘fee’ from the advance payment, the victim is then left to pay back the total amount once their repayments begin.”

East Devon residents are warned: “Never share your personal or financial information with someone you don’t know and trust, especially if it’s in response to an offer of ‘free money’ or a ‘free grant’.

“Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) staff will never approach you in the street or ask for your personal/financial details over social media.”

Universal Credit

If you have concerns about Universal Credit, you should visit www.gov.uk/contact-jobcentre-plus
 Suspect your identity may have been stolen? You can check your credit rating quickly and easily online. You should do this every few months using a reputable service provider and following up on any unexpected or suspicious results.

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