Public warned against scam targeting EU citizens
Members of the public are being warned about a scam targeting EU citizens demanding hundreds of pounds to apply for settled status as the UK prepares for Brexit.
There have been reports in Newcastle of citizens of other European countries being approached by individuals and being asked for money in return for assistance in applying for settled and pre-settled status.
In January, Prime Minister Theresa May announced the fees for applying for settled and pre-settled status were to be waived.
Cllr Habib Rahman, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for communities and chair of Safe Newcastle, said: “This is a disgraceful attempt to pray on vulnerable people who may already have concerns about what the future holds once Brexit is concluded.
“The Prime Minister has said people will not have to pay for this scheme, or will have already-paid fees refunded, and I want people to share the message in their communities that a minority of people are looking to take advantage of others in these uncertain times.
“If you come across people attempting to scam others either in this way or in any other way, it should be reported to the police.
“Newcastle is a welcoming and inclusive city and there is no place for this kind of dishonesty here.”
Under the scheme, if you’re an EU citizen, you and your family will be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. If your application is successful, you’ll get either settled or pre-settled status.
On 21 January the Prime Minister announced that there will be no fee when the scheme opens fully on 30 March 2019. Anyone who has applied already, or who applies and pays a fee during the test phases, will have their fee refunded.
If anyone has been a victim of any fraud then they should contact police on 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. You can also search Action Fraud online.