A warning is being issued to those of working age in Gedling borough about a new Universal Credit scam leaving people out of pocket.
The scam hitting the area sees residents being contacted by scammers who then claim to be able to offer them low-cost government loans.
Fraudsters are then using the victims personal details to apply for Universal Credit and then request a substantial payment — taking a cut for themselves.
The victim’s current benefits are then stopped as a result and replaced by Universal Credit.
They are then forced to pay back the phoney loan using future Universal Credit payments. The scammers then have access to their benefit and banking accounts.
Police have now issued a warning about the scam, which they say is prevalent in the north west, urging people not to give out their personal or financial information to anyone they don’t know.
A recent post shared by police on Twitter says: “Trading Standards have been made aware of a scam being operated across the UK.
It adds: “The scam is targeted at anyone of working age. Never give personal or financial information to anyone you do not know.”
If you are targeted by this scam then you are urged to report it to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 03001232040.
What is Universal Credit?
Universal credit is a new benefit for working-age people which replaces six benefits and merging them into one payment:
- income support
- income-based jobseeker’s allowance
- income-related employment and support allowance
- housing benefit
- child tax credit
- working tax credit
The Universal Credit system was designed to make claiming benefits simpler.
A single universal credit payment is paid directly into the claimants’ bank account to cover all of the benefits for which they are eligible.
Claimants then have to pay all of their costs such as rent out of the universal credit payment (though there is a provision for people who are in rent arrears or have difficulty managing their money to have their rent paid directly to their landlord).
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