Scammers have been offering people ‘interest-free loans’ or ‘government grants’’ in return for proof of identify, bank account details and a fixed fee. 

These details are used to set up a Universal Credit claim in your name, verify your identity with the DWP and apply for an advance payment of Universal Credit in your name. The scammers take their ‘fee’ from this advance payment. 

They don't tell you this is a benefit claim and that it stops any existing benefits and tax credits claims that you may have,. You also can't go back to these legacy benefits once you have claimed Universal Credit and you may receive less money per month than you did before. 

You may have to pay back all of the loan from your benefits, including the ‘fee’ the scammer takes from you. 

If someone tries to scam you, call the police. If it’s an emergency dial 999. 

If you have been scammed, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to report it and seek advice from your local Citizens Advice. 

If you need help to claim Universal Credit, contact the free Citizens Advice Help to Claim service on

0800 144 8 444. 

Be scam aware 

  • Be suspicious— if it sounds too good to be true - it probably is. 
  • Never give personal or financial information to somebody you do not know. 
  • Remember, Citizens Advice and the DWP will never cold call you to make benefit claims.