The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has issued a warning to everyone on Universal Credit and Jobseeker’s Allowance.

The DWP is warning claimants of scammers using their information to commit benefit fraud and other crimes.

Action Fraud made more than 100 arrests in November last year as they looked to clamp down on fraudsters.

More than 200,000 potential victims were targeted by their fraud website iSpoof, with almost 20 people every minute being contacted by scammers posing as Barclays, Santander, HSBC, Lloyds, Halifax, First Direct, Natwest, Nationwide and TSB.

Bournemouth Echo:

The DWP is calling on anyone in receipt of Universal Credit or Jobseeker’s Allowance to be on the lookout for potential scams.

They said: “Be fraud aware and protect your personal details at all times. Your information could be used by criminals to commit benefit and other fraud.

“The DWP may ask you to submit ID such as your passport. We will always add a message to your journal to prove it is us."

Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for cyber crime and fraud, also called on people to be on their guard when it comes to personal information.

They said: “Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police.”

This is their advice for those who think they may be a victim of benefit fraud:

  • Contact Action fraud for support and guidance.
  • Notify your local council and benefits office.
  • Report someone you think is committing benefit fraud
  • Call the National Benefit Fraud Hotline (NFBH) on 0800 854 440. Lines are open between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. It is free and confidential. There is a text phone service available on 0800 328 0512.
  • The Welsh National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 678 3722 is open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (an out-of-hours messaging service operates from 7am to 8am and 6pm to 11pm weekdays and from 7am to 11pm at weekends).
  • If you would prefer to make your report in writing, you can send information to: National Benefit Fraud Hotline, Mail Handling Site A, Wolverhampton, WV98 2BP

All reports of benefit fraud are treated in the strictest confidence.