Action Fraud warns against fake TV licensing emails, as over 2,500 reports are made in two months alone
Fraudsters are sending the public fake TV licensing emails to steal their personal and financial information.
- victims who click on the link are led to a convincing looking TV Licensing website – this could lead to fraudsters draining bank accounts and committing identity fraud.
- In September and October alone, 2,685 reports have been made to our phishing reporting tool.
Hooking victims in
Reports made to Action Fraud show that fraudsters are sending out fake TV Licence emails regarding refunds and payment issues to people across the UK. They will use headlines such as ‘correct your licensing information’, ‘billing information updates’ and ‘renew now’ to trick people into clicking on the link within the email.
When a victim clicks on the link, they will be led to a convincing looking TV Licensing website. The website is designed to harvest as much personal and financial information as possible from the victim.
Although all the emails are different in style, they all lead to the same website which is being hosted on different domains. The emails claim that TV Licencing has been trying to contact customers regarding the payment of a bill or a change to their personal information.
The fraudulent website will prompt victims to add their payment details, including the Card Verification Value (CVV) code on the back of their card, account number and sort code. With this information, fraudsters could drain bank accounts and commit identity fraud. It may also ask for the victim’s name, date of birth, address, phone number, email and even mother’s maiden name which suggests fraudsters will try to access other online accounts.
Director of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith, said:
“Devious fraudsters are constantly using new tactics to trick victims into handing over their personal information, often with devastating consequences. This is particularly nasty as it looks so convincing.
“It is vital that you spot the signs of fraudulent emails to avoid falling victim by following the protect advice below.
“We work tirelessly to stop fraudsters in their tracks and to prevent unsuspecting members of the public from falling victim to fraud.
“If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, please report it us.”
A TV Licensing spokesperson said:
“TV Licensing will never email customers, unprompted, to ask for bank details and/or your personal information, or tell you that you may be entitled to a refund. We encourage anyone who has provided their details as a result of a fraudulent email to contact their bank urgently and to report the email to Action Fraud.”
Protect yourself from fraudulent emails
TV Licensing has the below useful tips for spotting a scam email. Every report matters and if you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, report it to us online or by calling 0300 123 2040.
- Never answer an unsolicited email from TV Licensing - the organisation will never email you, unprompted, to tell you that you’re entitled to a refund or ask for bank details/personal information.
- Check the email contains your name – TV licensing will always include your name in any emails they send you.
- Check the email subject line - anything along the lines of "Action required", "Security Alert", "System Upgrade", "There is a secure message waiting for you", and so on, should be treated as suspect.
- Check the email address - does the email address look like one that TV Licensing use? For example firstname.lastname@example.org. Look closely as often the address may be similar.
- Check for a change in style - often the scammers will take the real emails and amend them. Look out for changes in the wording used, especially if it seems too casual or familiar.
- Check for spelling and grammar - are there any spelling mistakes, missing full stops or other grammatical errors?
- Check the links go to the TV Licensing website - hover over the links in the email to see their destination and check the web address carefully. If you are not sure, go directly to the TV Licensing website.
- All of TV Licensing's guidance on this issue is available on their website.
ActionFraud is the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre.
We provide a central point of contact for information about fraud and cyber crime.
The easiest way to report fraud and cyber crime is by using our online reporting tool.Report
Latest News from
Off-duty police officer steps in to prevent his elderly neighbour getting conned by fraudsters15/04/2019 10:20:00
An eagle-eyed off duty officer stepped in to stop his elderly neighbour becoming the victim of a fraud after she bought hundreds of pounds worth of gift cards.
Dedicated Cyber Crime Units Get Million Pound Cash Injection12/04/2019 13:10:00
The NPCC National Cyber Crime Programme yesterday (11/4) announced that every Police Force in England and Wales now has a dedicated Cyber Crime Unit in place thanks to a multi-million-pound investment from the Government.
Hajj fraud warning issued by Civil Aviation Authority over fake Makkah deals08/04/2019 10:20:00
Travellers looking to book their Hajj pilgrimage this year are being warned against deals that seem too good to be true.
Businesses and charities urged to take action to prevent cyber attacks05/04/2019 14:25:00
Businesses and charities are being urged to take action to prevent cyber attacks.
The 12 subject lines that could indicate your email is under attack25/03/2019 13:10:00
Cybersecurity experts have revealed a list of the 12 most common subject lines used in phishing emails targeting businesses.
Train up 'cyber security champions' to stop hackers, small businesses told22/03/2019 10:20:00
Small businesses should train up "cyber security champions" to better protect themselves from the threat of cyber attacks, new government research has suggested.
The TV Licensing scam that has cost victims over £830,000 and how to spot it15/03/2019 10:20:00
An ongoing TV Licensing phishing campaign, first identified by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) in September 2018, continues to be reported to Action Fraud in high numbers.
Paws for thought: fake pet adverts lead to over £3 million in losses08/03/2019 10:20:00
Action Fraud is warning the public that fraudsters are posting advertisements for non-existent animals and pet accessories online.