Citizens Advice have issued a warning about rouge Universal Credit scam- here’s the details- do not fall for it!
By Tim Rawlinson
If a smartly dressed person approaches you outside the Jobcentre or on the street and offers you what they claim to be a ‘Government loan’, it is not true and could land you in very serious trouble.
Citizens Advice this week issued a warning in Portsmouth based on activity around the rest of the country while stating the scam had not yet entered the area.
The issue isn’t new, the fraudsters sign people up to Universal Credit and abuse the advanced payment feature which the DWP claimed they would stop in November 2018 in this article in The Sun, however the practice is still going on around the country.
Instead of it being a Government loan, the victims are offhandedly signed up to Universal Credit without their knowledge, which the fraudsters use to apply for an first payment advance loan which then goes into the persons bank.
The fraudsters then charge for the service which usually comes to about half of the advance loan payment. The side effects of this being people denied other benefits they may be on, or at worst being investigated for fraud.
Citizens advice cite the area being most targeted by the scam as being the North of England.
In a statement, the organisation said: ‘A number of cases reported to Citizens Advice involve people being approached in their home and in public – especially outside job centres and in pubs – by smartly-dressed individuals targeting those on benefits and offering them “government loans”.
‘The individual does not realise they have been scammed or signed up to universal credit until their legacy benefit has stopped being paid, and the person approaches their local jobcentre where they are informed they have moved onto universal credit, with an advanced payment to repay.’
Of course this wouldn’t be an issue if the DWP didn’t make people wait 5-8 weeks for their first payments in the first place, but that wouldn’t push people into poverty now would it. No no no.