Direct debit indemnity fraud
Monday 20 December 2021
With the festive season upon us, it’s easy to be persuaded and pressurised by fraudsters into the illusion of gaining more money – please ensure you do not do this by being coerced into a scam about ‘reclaiming your direct debits for rent or council tax’.
We have discovered a number of customers who have been impacted by fraudulent direct debit claims on their rent accounts.
This is likely to be the result of a scam being circulated on social media which promotes an opportunity to recover money paid by direct debit ‘in error’ to other parties such as social housing (rent), local authority (council tax) etc.
Victims of this scam are asked to pass their bank details onto a ‘third party’ who makes the claim to the bank that the money was paid in error. The bank is asked by the third party to cancel any direct debits and to recover the money. The scammer will then either take a 50% cut of money or in some cases take all of it – plunging the victims’ rent account into arrears.
This kind of direct debit reclaim is illegal and despite being the victim of a scam, customers who partake could potentially face criminal prosecution as an accomplice to fraud.
Furthermore, customers who have sought to reclaim direct debits paid to Beyond Housing for their rent and do not repay the money will be in direct breach of their tenancy agreement and will be putting their home at risk.
Always remember, if you receive a refund you are not entitled to, you must pay it back when the organisation asks you to.
If you have been impacted by this type of fraud in relation to your rent direct debit with Beyond Housing please contact our Income Management Team on 01642 771326.
Please also contact the Police Action Team hotline on 0300 123 2040 with details of any fraudulent claim that have taken place – visit the Action Fraud website for more information.