Scammers will hound pensioners whose free TV licences have been taken away, MPs fear

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SCAMMERS will hound pensioners whose free TV licences have been taken away, it is feared.

The fraudsters could pose as BBC inspectors to coax bank details or even get cash from the over-75s.

Fraudsters could pose as BBC inspectors to coax bank details or even get cash from the over-75s
Alamy

Fraudsters could pose as BBC inspectors to coax bank details or even get cash from the over-75s[/caption]

It comes after the BBC revealed plans to send outreach workers to homes to chat to those who refuse to pay when free licences are scrapped.

Apart from posing as bogus inspectors, the tricksters could start bombarding pensioners with phone calls and messages, police and MPs fear.

Tory MP Damian Collins, who chairs the influential Commons Culture Select Committee, said: “If older and vulnerable people can’t afford to pay their licence fee they could be hounded and left fearful. Scammers have tried this on with people over tax returns and there is no reason why it wouldn’t happen again.

“Checks need to be toughened up to verify those who are inspectors or posing as officers.”


A retired police chief, who asked not to be named, said: “There is an obvious and clear danger in the BBC appointing inspectors to visit the homes of elderly people, turning up unannounced on their doorstep. This is wide open to abuse by scammers who will pretend to be inspectors.”

The BBC insists valid licence inspectors will prove their identity with an ID card and explain why they are making the visit.

It also promises the visits will be “as sympathetic as possible”.

Tory MP Damian Collins said:'If older and vulnerable people can’t afford to pay their licence fee they could be hounded and left fearful'
PA:Press Association

Tory MP Damian Collins said: ‘If older and vulnerable people can’t afford to pay their licence fee they could be hounded and left fearful’[/caption]

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