Action Fraud has received 63 reports about
a scam in which fraudsters target people with offers of “low cost”
loans or “free” government grants. What the victims aren’t told is that
the money they’ll receive is actually an advance payment for Universal
Credit. The criminals use the personal information they’ve obtain under
false pretences to make an application in the victim’s name. 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.
How you can protect yourself:
- 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 & Pensions (DWP) staff will never approach you in the street or ask for your personal/financial details over social media.
- If you have concerns about your benefits, you should visit www.gov.uk/contact-jobcentre-plus
- If you suspect your identity may have been stolen, you can check your credit rating quickly and easily online. You should do this every few months anyway, using a reputable service provider and following up on any unexpected or suspicious results.