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DWP: Warning issued over Universal Credit scam as victims have money taken from their bank accounts

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Original article from Kent Live

A fresh warning has been issued over Universal Credit in relation to an identity fraud scam.

People have had funds taken straight from their wages for Universal Credit debts they did not owe.

One of the victims had £300 taken from his pay packet by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) after the fraud had taken place.

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The complaints have recently featured in the latest episode of Rip Off Britain on BBC One, as Birmingham Live reports.

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One of the victims, named Tony, was left out of pocked after having his identity stolen.

The DWP told him his pay would be docked by 30 per cent following the fraud.

When his wages arrived, £299 had been removed alongside a £1 administration fee.

He told the programme: "It's left me feeling extremely vulnerable, it could lead to bigger problems though no fault of my own."

The programme showed Tony trying to call the Universal Credit helpline to resolve the problem, but without his Universal Credit number, he had no luck.

He was then told he would have to pay a small amount to stop the money being taken out of his bank account.

Two other people with similar issues also featured on the programme, including Jackie Smith, a nurse who was wrongly told she owed a debt of £2,000.

In a statement to the programme, the DWP said it is committed to working hard to resolve all such cases and was recruiting more agents and updating guidance for call handlers to combat identity theft.

Tony was eventually refunded nine weeks after having his pay deducted.

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Original Article