DWP probes universal credit fraud case

24 May 19

A Department for Work and Pensions minister will investigate a fraudulent loan company that stole an applicant’s identity to apply for universal credit. 

Fraudsters offering fake low-cost government loans took an applicant’s details and applied for universal credit, pocketing the money for themselves, the BBC has reported. 

Alishia Curry, a pregnant mother of three, was scammed out of roughly £1,000 worth of existing benefits a month.

After signing up for the fraudulent loan, Curry noticed her income support and child tax credit were stopped as the fraudsters had used her details to extract universal credit payments.

Minister of state for disabled people, health and work Justin Tomlinson said he would be investing the case “as a matter of urgency”.

Curry, from Buxton, Derbyshire, told the BBC that that she had initially sought a loan to replace her cooker but ended up having to miss meals to save money.

She said to the BBC: “Surely they [DWP] should have asked me to go down for a face-to-face [meeting] or something before they verified that account. I’ve had to miss meals just to feed the kids. It’s depressing.”

The DWP explained it would not comment until Tomlinson’s team had concluded its investigation.

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