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Started by TigerPaws on Jul 11, 2019 7:41:42 PM
Credit Hell: Universal Credit Scams

Astonishingly there are no Job Centre face to face interviews with many of the claimants.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48941661https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-48275021https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-48773392https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48952744

Victims twice over by the chaos that is Universal Credit and by being exploited by scammers. A new version of loan sharks going after women with kids facilitated by the DWP.

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TigerPaws - 11 Jul 2019 19:44:35 (#1 of 36)

It might be a good idea for claimants to present themselves at the Job Centre and insist on an interview. If they are short of staff then complain.

Just as the banks now remind online customers not to share pin numbers, with anyone and to update online security the DWP will have to do the same.

darkhorse - 11 Jul 2019 23:27:29 (#2 of 36)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48952744

First I heard of this scam was on the telly box the other night. It is astounding. The DWP can shit itself over making sure people are applying for XXXX jobs per week, but doesn’t bother insuring the actual applicant knows what is happening in shifting to UC.

Since our revelations on Monday, several officials from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have been in touch, furious that the scam has been allowed to continue.

One told us: "Believe me when I tell you that £20m is nowhere near the truth. As front-line staff we have been pulling our hair out on this one for so long.

"At my job centre we are seeing between 15 and 20 false claims per day, each one scamming £1,500."

The staff member added that fraudsters came into their job centre several times a day with different people to open new claims with false information.

The DWP says it is aware of the fraud and has a team of 120 people looking to identify the culprits. Some senior officials admit they are as frustrated as the front-line staff at what is happening.

But another official told us: "There is an easy fix to this debacle.

"Allow and limit online universal credit advances to their standard allowance only - to cover immediate expenses - and exclude everything else, until the claimant comes into the office for the next part of the claims process where further verification can be done as required."

YorenInTheNorth - 11 Jul 2019 23:30:07 (#3 of 36)

Heard about this in work today. FFS.

The DWP are usually knobs are about ID.

In work they call us and demand we identify ourselves. (I tell them to fuck off, they should not be calling if they are not sure).

TigerPaws - 12 Jul 2019 02:37:59 (#4 of 36)

UC might be a new online system but it hasn't changed the way being poor makes claimants vulnerable to loan sharks and other dodgy characters.

But then it was never designed to do so. If anything low wages and minimal UC payments have exacerbated claimants' desperation.

I've noticed that when they advertise expensive smart phones they use middle class to posh voices.

Moschops - 12 Jul 2019 05:32:30 (#5 of 36)

Well done IDS. Another winner.

Catspyjamas17 - 12 Jul 2019 06:33:31 (#6 of 36)

I can understand there is a loophole with the human side of the system, there always is, if someone can be persuaded to give their personal details. What I don't get is how the system then allows successful claims for additional children, made by the scammers, (for children named Give, Me, Some, Money, Now, as stated in the article). I thought it was incredibly hard to claim any benefits, and four children just turning up on your records is surely a little unusual? What on earth is going on?

Delighted_User - 12 Jul 2019 06:45:57 (#7 of 36)

Obviously they don't want to explain things in too much detail, to avoid giving people ideas, but I don't really understand how this is supposed to work either.

Another puzzle is The staff member added that fraudsters came into their job centre several times a day with different people to open new claims with false information. Assuming that this means that they recognise someone physically walking in with various people, isn't this a bit of a clue?

TigerPaws - 12 Jul 2019 07:41:30 (#8 of 36)

The UC algorithms don't recognise the difference between ordinary nouns/verbs and names!

The scammers can present themselves as welfare advice workers.

FrankieTeardrop - 12 Jul 2019 14:39:37 (#9 of 36)

"Assuming that this means that they recognise someone physically walking in with various people, isn't this a bit of a clue?"

My partner, who works for a charity helping people in severe financial difficulties, will often accompany her clients to such meetings.

Dayraven - 12 Jul 2019 14:57:33 (#10 of 36)

The UC algorithms don't recognise the difference between ordinary nouns/verbs and names!

Since a name can be pretty much anything, it's the sort of thing that's hard to catch without human oversight and/or pattern recognition.

(Which is why you need those things in place.)

Delighted_User - 12 Jul 2019 14:58:38 (#11 of 36)

"My partner, who works for a charity helping people in severe financial difficulties, will often accompany her clients to such meetings."

Sure, but if challenged, I imagine she'd have no difficulty proving she worked for a charity.

The article implied that the multiple accompanyers were recognised, but no effort was made to establish whether they were legitimate.

Moschops - 12 Jul 2019 15:01:40 (#12 of 36)

Since a name can be pretty much anything, it's the sort of thing that's hard to catch without human oversight and/or pattern recognition.

Or an api call to the Birth Register.

nemo75 - 12 Jul 2019 15:02:05 (#13 of 36)

Claimants born overseas?

Moschops - 12 Jul 2019 15:41:04 (#14 of 36)

Would flag up as requiring investigation. You're never going to get 100% hit rate

TigerPaws - 12 Jul 2019 15:41:30 (#15 of 36)

What's required is an accountable and transparent service, not a shoddy half baked system that relies on charities 'helping people'.

The people need help because the service is dysfunctional, the staff not adequately trained and supported, the wages too low, DWP workers may also be UC claimants remember.

All this because the primary purpose of UC is to help usher in the end of welfare and return us to the days of charity dependence,

They have not been too slow reassessing disabled claimants and finding the terminally ill fit for zero hour employment.

The abuse of power and ignoring the law will only get worse,

nemo75 - 12 Jul 2019 15:43:29 (#16 of 36)

All this because the primary purpose of UC is to help usher in the end of welfare and a return to the days of charity dependence

The idea of UC is positive. The current administration have made it punitive. Aligning benefit and tax systems makes complete sense. Something labour should have done in 1997.

Moschops - 12 Jul 2019 15:47:22 (#17 of 36)

Yep to all of that. It's a good idea horrendously executed.

TigerPaws - 12 Jul 2019 15:48:56 (#18 of 36)

The idea of providing 'Credit' as a top up to low wages rather than benefits is NOT progressive.

The wage share is declining, with companies like Virgin putting up the costs of their services yet again. UC relies on claimants having some kind of online connection.

Energy is too expensive, water is too costly, rents also. UC standard rates are not enough to cover basic costs that's why people, parents with kids, are searching for loans.

nemo75 - 12 Jul 2019 15:50:40 (#19 of 36)

It isn’t ‘credit’, is it?

TigerPaws - 12 Jul 2019 15:53:23 (#20 of 36)

They have called it credit. it's not free. People have to spend labour time searching for jobs, replying to emails, entering data into a journal. The data is surrendered free of charge.

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