‘It’s a nightmare’, said a Hampshire woman whose identity had been stolen and used to apply for a £1300 advance on universal credit.
The first she knew was a Department of Work and Pensions letter informing her of a deduction from her salary in repayment! Read her full story in The Guardian. It seems the department has been slow to investigate and to recognise victims of criminal acts.
The pandemic has given fraudsters more opportunities.
If you start getting letters or bills from debt collectors you know nothing about, you might be a victim of identity theft. You must tell your bank immediately so they can protect your accounts. You can get special advice from a Citizens Advice Scams Action adviser on 0808 250 5050.
The Hampshire case is the latest kind of corona-linked benefit scam.
Be extra careful if you see: emails or texts claiming to be from the government; emails offering life insurance against coronavirus; people knocking at your door and asking for money for charity. BBC Radio 4 Money Box (05/12/20) reported more cases of benefit fraud based on identity theft.