A source told BBC that Britain’s public welfare benefit Universal Credit has been a victim of an elaborate scam. Reportedly, criminals utilize the online claims application feature, leading to the loss of tens of millions out of public funds.
Universal Credit is the public welfare system offered by the British government. Based on the United Kingdom government website, the welfare fund aims to help eligible UK residents pay for their living costs. The program is designed to assist low-income or unemployed individuals.
Based on the report, the online claiming system has a loophole, which the scammers took advantage of in order to make fake applications. The criminals also used the loophole to get advance loans.
BBC outlined the scamming process, which involves the criminal getting in touch with legitimate claimants, asserting that they have the ability to provide government grants or loans. When victims provide details, the fraudster applies for a claim and gets a huge part of the funds, leaving the legitimate claimant with debt.
According to the benefits official, over a third of claims in one center are presumed to be fraudulent. In another area, fraudsters were able to get as much as GBP 100,000 every month.
The Department for Work and Pensions said that an estimated rate of 10% out of 100,000 advance payments are part of the scheme. BBC remarked that this figure implies that Universal Credit suffers from fraudulent claims at around four times more than other benefit funds.
Criminals are using blatantly bogus details to apply for their claims. The official said that one of the most obvious fraudulent application is a one from a 19-year-old parent who has “six blind children.” Another applicant claims to rent property from one “Harry Kane,” the name of a prominent football player.