PIP scam warning issued as fraudsters target Britons applying for benefits

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Rip Off Britain: Woman explains how she was scammed

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Cifas has urged Britons to be vigilant as scammers set their sights on those applying for benefits and council tax customers. HMRC have also warned everyone with a UK Government Gateway login to be wary as reports have seen scammers attempting to ‘borrow’ these details.

Reports say scammers are posing as employees of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and other organisations. 

These fraudsters are said to be targeting Britons applying for benefits such as PIP.

Cifas advised that Britons should seek out reputable advice from the likes of the Gov.uk website when applying for financial assistance. 

They reminded Britons to think about potential consequences of sharing their personal and financial details to unverified parties. 

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These scams have compounded a warning issued by HMRC earlier this month urging customers to not share their personal information online. 

It was reported that scammers were trying to obtain customers’ UK Government Gateway logins to submit fraudulent tax refund claims and pocketing the repayment. 

The fraudsters would reach out over social media asking to borrow customers’ identities promising to provide a cut of the tax refund in return. 

Complying with these fraudsters would see Britons being implicated in tax fraud and would require them to pay back the full value of the refund.

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HMRC advised that customers should only deal with them directly or through a tax advisor for queries in relation to Self Assessment tax refunds. 

These scams could be a great cause for concern as PIP and other DWP benefits will be rising next month by 3.1 percent.

PIP provides support for Britons with long-term physical or mental conditions or disabilities. 

Different rates are offered depending on their condition or disability, their needs and how it impacts their life. 

PIP is separated into two components, the first of which is the daily living component which is for claimants that require help with everyday tasks, offers a lower rate of £60 and higher rate of £89.60.

The mobility component focuses on claimants that struggle or need assistance getting around and provides £23.70 on the lower rate and £62.55 on the higher rate. 

Claiming the higher rate for both components can see successful claimants receiving £152.15 per week, completely tax-free.

Additionally, PIP only considers one’s condition and the following circumstances will not prevent a person from receiving PIP:

  • Working
  • Income level
  • Savings
  • National Insurance contributions
  • Living accommodations
  • Having carers.

To be eligible for PIP all of the following must apply:

  • Aged 16 or over
  • Under the state pension age
  • Have a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability
  • Experience difficulty doing everyday tasks or getting around
  • Expect these difficulties to last for at least 12 months from when they started. 
  • Britons who are over the state pension age can apply for Attendance Allowance instead.

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