Home U.K. BBC warning: Baffled OAPs targetted by SCAMMERS as free TV licence fee...

BBC warning: Baffled OAPs targetted by SCAMMERS as free TV licence fee ends

Last year, the BBC announced it would be scrapping free TV licences for most over-75s, meaning more than three million households would be forced to pay £157.50 a year.

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It was originally halted due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic but last month it confirmed it would start charging people from August 1.

The move by the BBC was met with anger from the Government and pensioner charities including Age UK, who called the decision a “kick in the teeth”.

Now the Defund The BBC campaign has called out the corporation claiming the new measures could open the door for scammers.

Rebecca Ryan, campaign director, told Express.co.uk: “I think it’s that kind of sense of establishment bureaucracy which is so firmly positioned it can just shrug off criticism.

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BBC criticised for scrapping over-75s free licence (Image: Getty)

Three million households now forced to pay fee (Image: PA)

“I would love for them to back down on the over-75s situation because I think the issue they have there is they are using capita to do their dirty work of going around and chasing people.

“But there is some real social injustice with how capita works.

“They hide behind this veil of uncertainty where they deliberately say in all the communications what you can’t watch, you need to have a licence for this and that.

“They don’t say very clearly what you can watch. We have people emailing us all the time asking, ‘Can I watch this then?’

READ MORE: TV licence: Pensioners across UK are missing out on free scheme

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Boris Johnson condemned the BBC decision (Image: Getty)

“They will say you can’t watch live streaming on My5 but they won’t say you can watch on demand on My5.

“But there is also the threat of people turning up on your doorstep.

“It’s just extremely unclear to people what they can and can’t watch.

“I think if that’s how people under-75s feel then how do the over-75s feel about these threatening letters and fear of somebody turning up on their doorstep?

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BBC faces criticism for scrapping free TV licences (Image: Getty)

“I think it opens them up to scammers.

“You hear of scammers turning up of people’s doorsteps forcing their way into old people’s homes.

“I would love to see them go back on that.

“If they are supposed to be a public service broadcaster, they must be held to account to provide an actual public service and I think that’s the key part of it.”

BBC chairman Sir David Clementi backed decision (Image: Getty)

Three million households will now be forced to pay £157.50 for a colour licence and £57 for a black and white licence.

Only those who receive pension credit benefit and are aged over 75 will be eligible for a free licence.

The licence fee is the annual cost viewers must pay in the UK and funds the TV, radio and online services of the BBC.

Those caught watching television without a licence can be fined up to £1,000 in addition to court costs.

Calls made to defund the BBC (Image: Getty)

Although calls have been made for the BBC to be defunded, business expert, Mavis Amankwah, has defended the decision.

She told Express.co.uk: “As controversial as it is, I don’t think the BBC should be defunded.

“The BBC is a national institution, and in the long term it will do more harm than good.

“There are a lot of older people who rely heavily on the BBC, and it would be an insult to them.

BBC criticised for over-75s scandal (Image: Getty)

“The reality is, not everyone has cable, so the BBC do provide a good service.

“Sure, it’s not perfect, but it still remains one of the major news outlets in the world.”

A BBC TV Licensing spokesperson said: “To help protect over 75 customers from scams, we have included information on avoiding scams in the letter we are sending directly to them. 

“No one will be expected to pay for a new licence until they have been contacted by letter from TV Licensing and customers will be given plenty of time to set up their new licence.

“TV Licensing will not be making visits to people over 75s during the transition period.”

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