Up to £1.5bn may have been lost in fraudulent claims for Universal Credit, officials say – The Telegraph

Organised criminals might have defrauded as a lot as £1.5 billion out of the Authorities’s Common Credit score scheme in current weeks, based on officers.

Big demand for the profit for working-age individuals within the UK has resulted in processes being relaxed so the vast majority of claims will be promptly paid.

With purposes working at six occasions the conventional ranges since April because the coronavirus disaster took maintain, id checks had been processed on-line as an alternative of in particular person and a few data, resembling the price of hire, was taken on belief.

Nonetheless, the Authorities has now launched an investigation amid fears that organised crime teams and people might have exploited the looser checks by submitting fraudulent claims totalling as a lot as £1.5 billion, based on the BBC.

Profit officers have spoken of the actual problem of tracing the recipients of the tens of millions of kilos which have been paid out as advance funds, generally on the day.

A DWP spokesperson stated: “Our focus is on getting cash to those that want it and due to the extraordinary efforts of employees, since mid-March we’ve managed to course of greater than two million new claims for Common Credit score.

“We proceed to watch profit fraud very intently and can relentlessly pursue the minority trying to abuse the system utilizing the total vary of accessible powers, together with prosecution by means of the courts.

“Our detection methods make use of more and more refined strategies to determine discrepancies and thwart these in search of to tear off taxpayers.”

News Reporter

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