Fraudsters sending fake TV Licensing emails

Action Fraud are warning that a new round of Fake TV licensing emails are being circulated and, in December alone, 200 crime reports were made to Action Fraud.

Back in October, Action Fraud released a warning about TV Licensing phishing emails, after a large number of reports were received. New TV Licensing phishing emails are part of larger fraud, in which criminals are calling victims and claiming to be bank employees, convincing them to hand over their money.

According to Action Fraud, Fraudsters are sending out fake TV Licence emails regarding refunds and payment issues to people across the UK. The emails contain headlines such as ‘correct your licensing information’ or ‘billing information updates’ and ‘renew now’ to trick people into clicking on the link provided in the email. Within a week or so, fraudsters will then call the victim, claiming to be from the fraud department of the victim’s bank. By using the information the victim provided through the fake website, fraudsters appear legitimate and able to convince victims they are genuine bank employees. The fraudsters then claim that the victim’s account has been compromised and they need to transfer their money to a ‘safe account’.

A spokesperson for TV Licensing said: “We’re continuing to work closely with Action Fraud to raise awareness of the scam emails circulating to the public, posing as genuine TV Licensing communications. TV Licensing will never email customers, unprompted, to ask for bank details, personal information or tell you that you may be entitled to a refund. Anyone who has provided their details as a result of a fraudulent email should report it to Action Fraud. If they have provided bank details, they should call their bank urgently. TV Licensing offers helpful information about scam emails on their website.”

Protect yourself from fraudulent emails, Action fraud offers the following advice:

  • Never answer unsolicited emails 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.
  • Don’t assume a phone call or email is authentic. Just because someone knows your basic details, it does not mean they are genuine. Criminals can easily spoof the phone numbers and email addresses of companies you know and trust.
  • Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information, and never click on the links and attachments in emails or texts you receive out of the blue.
  • Your bank will never call and ask you for your PIN, full banking password, or ask you to transfer money out of your account.

 What to do if you’ve fallen victim

  • Let your bank know as soon as possible and monitor your bank statements regularly for unusual activity.
  • If you suspect your identity may have been stolen you can check your credit file quickly and easily online. You should do this every few months using a reputable service provider and following up on any unexpected or suspicious results.
  • Finally, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040.

It is not solely a banks responsibility to keep our money safe, we must also take steps to protect ourselves adequately. Most people think they wouldn’t fall for a fraudulent text or email and are too savvy to be scammed, but criminals are more sophisticated than ever. When it comes to your money, always think twice. Have you received an unexpected call, email or text asking you to provide personal information? Just because someone knows some of your personal details it does not mean they are genuine. They may know your full name, address, maiden name etc, but they could be a fraudster looking to extract more information from you in order to gain access to your bank account and your money.

Stay safe from financial crime and remember:

1. A bank or trusted organisation will never contact you asking for your PIN of full password, or to transfer money to a ‘Safe Account’.

2. Never give out your personal or financial details unless you are 100% sure who you are talking to.

3. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text. This could give a fraudster access to your personal details.

4. Always question people who contact you through cold-calling. Under new legislation brought in last year, it is now illegal to cold-call and individual unless you have given your specific consent for them to do so.

5. If you are in any doubt about who a caller is, end the call. You can always call the company back when you have obtained the company’s number from a legitimate and trusted source.