DWP warns of six things you should never do if you get Universal Credit

Universal Credit: Expert discusses benefits of claiming

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Fraudsters may target Universal Credit recipients in an attempt to access their personal information.The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has produced six key tips which could help Britons make their account more secure.

Never use the same password for your Universal Credit account as you use for other websites.

“Instead, choose a unique, strong password and enable two-step authentication on your email account to keep it secure and help prevent third parties gaining access to significant amounts of your personal data.”

Never share the password to your Universal Credit account with anyone.

“If it falls into the wrong hands it can give identity thieves full, instant access to your account and journal and they could make changes to your claim without you being aware.”

Never provide financial or personal details related to your claim over the phone.

“Or click on links in text messages or emails that ask you to provide them. The DWP will never ask you to do this.

“Beware of fake calls, texts and emails claiming to be from DWP or other organisations.

“If you’re not sure about any calls, text messages or emails you receive about Universal Credit, or you think you have received a fraudulent message, contact your Work Coach.

“You can also forward suspicious emails to [email protected]

“Do not contact the email address or number in the message or given by the caller as this is likely to be fake.

“You can forward suspicious text messages to 7726 for investigation.”

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Never give out personal or financial information to people who you are not certain work for DWP.

DWP staff will never approach you on social media or on the street to discuss your benefit claim.

If you are not sure the person you are speaking to is from the DWP, speak to your Work Coach at your local Jobcentre or send them a message via your journal.

Never forget to check your Universal Credit account for any unauthorised activity.

Get in the habit of regularly logging in and checking to see if something appears suspicious or there is something that you don’t understand. If there is, report it to your Work Coach immediately.

Never forget to tell DWP if you change your contact details.

Keeping them up to date ensures information is being sent to the correct address and means that you can be contacted promptly if suspicious activity is detected.

If you have concerns about your benefits, or think your Universal Credit account has been hacked, you should contact Jobcentre Plus immediately.

If you believe you have been targeted by fraudsters, get in touch with Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at www.actionfraud.police.uk

Minister for Welfare Delivery David Rutley said: “Sadly, we know there are some corrupt people out there who are determined to steal from those who are most vulnerable.

“While we will continue to protect our claimants and bring fraudsters to justice, we are encouraging Universal Credit claimants to stay cautious when it comes to personal information.

“The best advice I can give is treat your benefit details in the same way you would your personal bank details. Listen to your instincts. If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.

“And if you think you’ve been targeted, we urge you to report it immediately.”

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