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TV licence fee scams have doubled in a year amid fears predatory fraudsters could target vulnerable over-75s when they are stripped of their free access.
City of London police, which leads the UK's fight against financial crime, received 2458 reports of suspected scams related to the licence fee in the first seven months of this year alone, nearly double 2018's figure of 1264.
Figures - Reports - People - TV - Licences
Both figures dwarfed the 238 reports recorded in 2017, leading to warnings elderly people who are having to pay for their TV licences for the first time could be targeted by criminals exploiting their vulnerability.
In total, City of London Police recorded 3987 suspected scams in 2017, 2018 and January to July this year, according to a freedom of information request by MailOnline.
Age - UK - Director - Caroline - Abrahams
Age UK director Caroline Abrahams called the figures 'really worrying', and urged people to be vigilant.
'Fraudsters are always on the look-out for new opportunities, so it's highly likely we will see some sophisticated scams aimed at very old people,' she said.
'Millions - Over-75s - TV - Licence - Years
'Millions of over-75s have not had to buy a TV licence for many years and we worry that they could be caught out by these messages.'
Ms Abrahams urged the BBC and TV Licensing, which collects the fee, to clearly inform the public about when they would be contacted, what to look for, and whether it would be by letter or email.
Fact - People - Risk - Friends - Family
'Anyone can be scammed but the fact that many older people live alone and are physically or mentally unwell puts them at heightened risk of being targeted, so it's crucial they are vigilant and that friends and family look out for them too,' she said.
'If there is any doubt about the authenticity of an offer or piece of correspondence, do not respond, do not click on links in unsolicited emails and...
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