Identity Thieves on the Hunt for Universal Credit Payments
The UK’s Department for Work and Pension (DWP) has been warning people for not repaying for the benefits that they never seem to have received.
The latest investigation shows that the universal credit payments scheme fell prey to criminal gangs. These fraudsters steal other people’s identities and get an illegitimate claim to their advance payments for universal credit payments. They steal the funds and the victim of the identity theft is left to pay the bills for the payments never claimed.
This is a multi-million-pound benefits fraud that has affected hard-working people. A large amount of money is being deducted from their wages as repayment of funds that were stolen by the criminals.
There used to be a face-to-face interview in order to qualify for universal credit payments. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the face-to-face interviews were suspended. This is when the criminals use this to their advantage and struck.
An NHS care worker has become a victim of this fraud and has lost £1,500 through his pay. For people who don’t start repaying after five to six weeks of claiming the advance payments, the universal credit starts the process of taking the money out of their pays.
According to the figures gathered by Labour MP Stephen Timms, it shows that around 6,000 claims have been made of stolen identities to the Department for Work and Pension from June till December. However, the government believes that the scam to be much bigger than it seems and it is fast growing.
Mr. Timms has urged the DWP to properly investigate cases. He said: “I don’t think they should be taking money from people’s pay unless they’re confident money is actually owing.”
Fraud victims’ pay deducted for money they don’t owe https://t.co/EuWyqTFEd4
— BBC Money Box (@Moneybox) December 17, 2020