DWP Issues Warning Against Cost of Living Payment Scam Ahead of Autumn Disbursement

In the lead-up to the impending autumn disbursement, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has sounded an alert regarding a fraudulent text message scheme targeting individuals due to receive the Cost of Living Payment. The payment, designed to alleviate the financial strain caused by the current cost of living crisis, has become a target for scammers attempting to deceive recipients into providing sensitive information.

Beware of Text Scam: Fake ‘Apply’ Messages

A recent report from a vigilant Daily Record reader highlighted a text message scam, where recipients were informed of an alleged ‘£800 Cost of Living Payment’ and urged to click on an embedded link to ‘apply’ for the payment. Recognizing the signs of a scam, the reader raised awareness about the deceptive tactic, as genuine recipients are not required to apply for the Cost of Living Payment. Eligible individuals automatically receive the payment through the established channels, mirroring the distribution of other benefits or tax credits from the DWP or HMRC.

Official Confirmation and Prevention

The UK government’s official website, gov.uk, reinforces the fact that recipients need not take any action to secure the Cost of Living Payment. The website clearly states, ‘You do not need to apply. If you qualify, you will immediately get payment in the same manner that you typically receive benefits or tax credits. This includes if you’re found to be eligible at a later date.’ It also acknowledges the rise of such scams, cautioning against responding to messages prompting application or communication about the payment.

Previous Scams and Protective Measures

The fraudulent text message phenomenon is not new. In the past, a similar text scam circulated, promoting a ‘£750 Cost of Living Payment’. To safeguard against these scams, individuals are advised to disregard messages prompting them to ‘apply,’ abstain from clicking on dubious links, and refrain from divulging personal information. Metro.co.uk advises recipients to hang up or ignore such messages and forward suspicious texts to 7726. Potential scam emails can be reported to report@phishing.gov.uk.

Taking Action Against Scammers

For those who fear falling victim to such scams, the National Cyber Security Centre recommends forwarding suspicious texts and scam emails to appropriate reporting channels. Individuals concerned about potential scams can also reach out to Action Fraud for assistance.

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