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MP Richard Thomson raises awareness of TV Licensing scams

By Kirsty Brown

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Gordon constituency MP Richard Thomson is raising awareness of TV Licensing scams affecting people in his constituency after receiving correspondence from residents targeted by the scammers.

With the BBC having recently removed the licence fee exemption for over 75s there are particular concerns that more elderly and vulnerable people are being targeted by scammers at the same time as the TV Licensing authority is sending out genuine payment information for the over 75s.

One of the most common types of TV Licensing scam is known as ‘phishing’, where scammers use fake e-mails and websites to harvest bank account details and fraudulently take funds from those accounts.

Commenting on the issue Richard Thomson MP said: “Scammers are taking advantage of the issuing of genuine TV Licence billing information to scam older and vulnerable residents by stealing their bank account data and other personal information.

"They do this with very clever fake e-mails and websites that look like the real thing but which are only set up to steal information and defraud people of significant amounts of money.

“In a recent local example a constituent has described an e-mail, purporting to be from TV Licensing, saying there was problem with their application and instructing them to make a direct debit payment from their bank account straight away or risk having their license cancelled and their details passed to a debt collection agency.

“Scams like this are unfortunately very much on the rise, particularly on the back of recent changes to the TV Licence system, and I would urge people to look carefully at all correspondence.

"There is good information on the genuine TV Licensing website at www.tvlicensing.co.uk explaining how to recognise scams and where to report them.

“If you have friends or relatives over 75, especially those who may be more vulnerable, it is a good idea to check what they are doing about their TV License.

"People over the age of 75 will be receiving genuine billing information during August and September - there is a real risk that they may be targeted by scammers at the same time.

“Stealing from the elderly is particularly abhorrent behaviour and I hope that regular warnings of these scams will help people stay on their guard.”

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