Ruth George MP issues warning of Universal Credit scams in High Peak

Ruth George MP has issued a warning to households across High Peak to beware of people calling to tell them they’ve come to help them to complete a Universal Credit claim.

Ruth explained: “I’ve had people from across the constituency, from Tintwistle in the north, to Buxton in the south, who’ve reported having someone call, claiming to be from the Department of Work and Pensions, or an advisor, to help them with their Universal Credit claim.

“They then proceed to take people’s personal details and enter them onto a website on a laptop or tablet and tell people they are making their claim for them.  They are so credible that local residents have even let them scan their passport and driving licence. Later they have found the money has been paid into another account.

“Unless you have contacted the DWP to claim Universal Credit and made an arrangement for a home visit because you’re unable to leave your home, I’d urge you not to give any details to anyone.

“If you do need to claim Universal Credit and are unsure about completing the online form, you can visit or call the Job Centre at Buxton or Glossop, or Citizens Advice who have surgeries around High Peak.

“I’m very concerned that the DWP are looking to make people who have been scammed repay the money and refusing to let them return to their old benefits.  That is very unfair and means that people who’ve been a victim of a scam will suffer from it for years to come.

“I’ve taken this policy up with the Secretary of State and would urge any constituent who has been the victim of a Universal Credit scam to let me know.  Universal Credit is so low anyway that people simply can’t afford to repay amounts they’ve been scammed.”

Citizens Advice have been following up cases during Scam Awareness Week and urge people to be on the lookout for doorstep callers or phone calls that could be scams.