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Pensioners warned about over 75s TV licence scam

Swansea Council has teamed up with a local charity to warn pensioners about a TV licence scam.

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Trading Standards and Age Cymru Swansea Bay are aware of the scam after being contacted by an elderly local resident earlier this week.

The lady was called by a person who said there had been some changes to the free TV licence for pensioners, requiring them to pay a £3 fee to the government.

The scam caller then went on to ask the pensioner how she'd like to pay the fee, but the lady realised it was a bogus call and put the phone down.

Cllr Mark Child, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Healthy City and Wellbeing, said: "The lady who was targeted by the scam did the right thing by hanging up and letting our Trading Standards team know. We'd urge other people receiving this or any other scam call to do the same thing. On no account should you provide bank or any other personal details to anyone over the phone.
 
"Trading Standards have delivered training programmes to staff working in a range of partner agencies who have day to day contact with vulnerable people.

"This training raises awareness of scams, informs people how to avoid them and teaches these organisations how to recognise if people they support are in danger of becoming scam victims. Anyone in doubt about any unexpected phone call should contact Trading Standards immediately."

Anyone aged 75 or over is granted a free TV licence for their main address. In addition, if you live with someone aged over 75, their free licence will cover all viewing in the property, meaning you could also benefit, whatever your age.

"The reality is that no payment whatsoever is required for the over 75s TV licence," said Cllr Child. "This is a scam of the worst kind because it's targeting older people who can sometimes be vulnerable."

Nicola Russell-Brooks, Chief Executive of Age Cymru Swansea Bay, said: "This is a nasty scam that could easily catch a lot of older people off guard, particularly given the recent stories in the press about the over 75s TV license.

"We are extremely worried that many older people will just pay the £3 fee because it's not a huge amount, but once scammers have their bank details they will wipe out all their accounts in seconds. 

"Our advice if you receive a call like this is to put the phone down and report the call to trading standards. Never give your bank details or payment information of any sort over the telephone. 

"If an older person has any queries about their TV license, they can contact Age Cymru Swansea Bay."

Swansea Council's trading standards team can be reached on 01792 635600. Staff at Age Cymru Swansea Bay are on hand to offer free advice by ringing 01792 648866.


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