A housing association on the Isle of Wight is warning residents to be vigilant after a whatsapp group was exposed in Portsmouth targeting young people in receipt of Universal Credits.
The messenger group targets mainly single people in receipt of government benefits, tricking the claimant into handing over personal information in hope of extra money.
A spokesperson for Vectis Housing association said “We have been made aware of a scam operating in Portsmouth that could quite easily spread to the Isle of Wight.
“Young, predominately single people are being encouraged to join a WhatsApp group to find out ways of receiving more Universal Credit (UC) or for help claiming UC.
“The group then persuade the relevant information out of the customer, access their online account, amend the details to include several children and then put in for an advance. Once the advance hits the young person’s account they demand the funds be sent on to them by threats of violence to the young person and their friends and family. The threats include some really harrowing graphic videos of people being strangled.”
DWP will never ask for personal log in information and passwords and don’t use WhatsApp. If anyone needs help to claim then the Citizens Advice can offer support locally in the Jobcentre.