Published 12th June 2019

Scammers have been offering people ‘interest free loans or `government grants’ in return for proof of identity, bank account details and a fixed fee.

These details are used to set up a Universal Credit Claim in your name, verify your identity with the DWP and apply for an advance payment or Universal Credit in your name. The scammers take their free from this advance payment. They don’t tell you this is a benefit and that it stops any existing benefits and tax credits claims that you may have. You also cant go back to these legacy benefits once you have claimed universal credit and you may receive less money per month than you did before. You may have to pay back all of the loan from your benefits, including the ‘fee’ the scammer takes from you.

If someone tries to scam you, call the Police.

If its an emergency dial 999.

If you have been scammed, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. to report it and seek advice from your local Citizens Advice.

If you need help to claim Universal Credit, contact the free Citizens Advice help to Claim service on 0800 144 8444.