Derbyshire police are warning residents about a Universal Credit scam.
Action Fraud has received 63 reports about a crime in which fraudsters target people with offers of 'low cost' loans or 'free' Government grants.
What the victims are not told is that the money they will receive is actually an advance payment for Universal Credit.
The criminals use the personal information they have obtain under false pretences to make an application in the victim's name.
After the fraudsters have taken their 'fee' from the advance payment, the victim is then left to pay back the total amount once their repayments begin.
How you can protect yourself, according to Action Fraud
- Never share your personal or financial information with someone you don't know and trust, especially if it's in response to an offer of 'free money' or a 'free grant'
- Department for Work and Pensions staff will never approach you in the street or ask for your personal or financial details over social media
- If you have concerns about your benefits, you should visit www.gov.uk/contact-jobcentre-plus
- If you suspect your identity may have been stolen, you can check your credit rating quickly and easily online. You should do this every few months anyway, using a reputable service provider and following up on any unexpected or suspicious results.