DOOM : UC Fraud DOOM : UC Fraud
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Thread: DOOM : UC Fraud

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    They can't even get claiming right so you can use someone else's NI number.

    'It's a nightmare': woman faces GBP1,300 demand due to universal credit fraud | Money | The Guardian

    A Hampshire woman, whose identity was used by fraudsters to apply for a £1,300 universal credit advance, has been told by investigators that they are dealing with thousands of similar cases, and that “it could have happened to anyone”.

    In March, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) suspended face-to-face interviews for new applicants.

    Between then and October, 3.7m applications were made for the government benefit, which supports the unemployed and people on low incomes.


    But while most were legitimate, some have come from fraudsters claiming in other people’s names, raising questions about the changes to security measures.

    Advance payments are made to UC applicants who cannot wait the five to six weeks it takes for a claim to be processed as they have no money. They are in the form of a loan that is recouped from the recipient’s benefit payments, once approved, or their wages if they are still in work.

    The first Jane Davies* knew that someone had made a claim in her name was when she received a letter from the DWP telling her that it would be taking a big chunk of her £1,334 advance from her November pay packet.

    Davies, a single mother, says she has never claimed any benefits other than child benefit. She initially thought the letter was a scam.

    Only after spending hours on hold and finally talking to someone did she discover that the demand was for real, and the government was set to recoup the money it had paid someone else claiming in her name.

    “The letter warned that 20% of next month’s salary was to be taken and trying to get this resolved has been a nightmare,” Davies says.

    “None of the people I spoke to could help, except to tell me that I owed this money. I reported the matter to Action Fraud and heard nothing. Similarly, I have tried to change my national insurance number, which I thought had been used as part of the claim, but all I get back are standard email replies – I’m going round in circles. I must have spent 30 hours on the phone trying to sort this out, mostly on hold.”

    Until now, universal credit fraud has been almost exclusively carried out by people knowingly exploiting the system, or by scammers offering to apply for the benefit on the victim’s behalf and taking a cut of the payment.

    Following the Guardian’s intervention, Davies was contacted by a member of the DWP’s fraud team, who, she says, told her that the department was dealing with thousands of similar cases.

    “They said that this could have happened to anyone during the spring and summer as they were giving out advances with almost no checks,” she says. “I asked which bank account this payment had been made to – as it certainly hadn’t been mine – but the person wouldn’t tell me on the grounds of data protection.

    “I was concerned that my national insurance number had been used by the fraudster but she told me that they wouldn’t have needed it to apply for an advance. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I suspect that I’m not the only one in this position and others are going to start getting similar letters.”

    If her case is not, as suspected, an isolated one, many more households will be getting similar demands, and face having to spend hours dealing with the fallout as she has.
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  2. #2

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    The whole universal credit system has been a fiasco from start to finish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SueEllen View Post
    “I was concerned that my national insurance number had been used by the fraudster but she told me that they wouldn’t have needed it to apply for an advance. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I suspect that I’m not the only one in this position and others are going to start getting similar letters.”

    If her case is not, as suspected, an isolated one, many more households will be getting similar demands, and face having to spend hours dealing with the fallout as she has.
    WT actually FFFFFF

    Given how insane the rest of the UC system is how did that slip through the checks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eek View Post
    WT actually FFFFFF

    Given how insane the rest of the UC system is how did that slip through the checks.
    There were no checks
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    They employed the usual suspects.

    I would suggest in this case they ask the bank the DWP paid into to cough up the money because they failed to verify the person.
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    Universal income would solve may problems (i.e. everyone gets a basic income rich or poor). Gone are the masses of civil servants and bureaucracy used to calculate benefits. No-one falls through the net. No other top-ups are allowed. If you are working, fine the taxation system will resolve the balance. The world is not the same as 30+ years ago, there are no jobs for life, the benefit system is in a mess. Total reform is needed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paddy View Post
    Universal income would solve may problems (i.e. everyone gets a basic income rich or poor). Gone are the masses of civil servants and bureaucracy used to calculate benefits. No-one falls through the net. No other top-ups are allowed. If you are working, fine the taxation system will resolve the balance. The world is not the same as 30+ years ago, there are no jobs for life, the benefit system is in a mess. Total reform is needed.
    Until of course the masses decide its unfair the "rich people" get it. We have hundreds of means tested benefits, child benefit being one of the few that was universal until they decided people earning over £60k shouldn't get it.

    I agree total reform is needed Universal credit was supposed to be that, constantly moving people toward work. Maybe its the idiots in charge that need reforming, this is basic stuff.
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    They could not arrange remote video call as part of application before paying out to at least get face of whoever claims?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AtW View Post
    They could not arrange remote video call as part of application before paying out to at least get face of whoever claims?

    Entirely valid check, plenty more simple checks possible.
    "If you didn't do anything that wasn't good for you it would be a very dull life. What are you gonna do? Everything that is pleasant in life is dangerous."

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    Quote Originally Posted by vetran View Post
    Until of course the masses decide its unfair the "rich people" get it
    The more you earn, the more tax you pay, until it benefits you not a jot.

    It'll probably happen someday. Funny thing, the first time I heard of it was a very right wing Cambridge don. It's about making the state as small as possible - that's a right wing ideology. (That I entirely agree with).
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