Action Fraud warns against fake TV licensing emails, as over 2,500 reports are made in two months alone
26 Oct 2018 03:14 PM
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.