Urgent TV licence warning issued as con artists create new scam

TV licence holders across the UK are being warned to remain vigilant after a spate of scams relating to the fee.

Action Fraud UK recently warned consumers that cyber criminals are sending out correspondence posing as Government services, asking users to click links which take them to bogus sites which appear legitimate.

The latest round of emails from scammers suggest that a person’s TV licence is due to expire soon, and that they should renew immediately online. The sense of urgency can lead to some recipients rashly clicking the fake link, and parting ways with valuable personal details.

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The Express reports that in a tweet, Action Fraud warned revealed that it had received 3,455 reports of the scam over the past two weeks alone. Taking to social media, they wrote: “The emails state that the recipient’s TV Licence is about to expire, or that there was an issue with their latest payment.

“The links provided in the email lead to genuine-looking websites that are designed to steal personal and financial details.”

The team also added that legitmate TV licence emails always include your name and sometimes part of your postcode. It follows on from a warning issued by TV Licensing just last month, in which the body advised Twitter users on a growing number of scams relating to the annual payment.

It said: “Scams are on the increase. Remember, we will never call to ask for: Your mother’s maiden name, Your date of birth, Your card details. If you think you’ve been targeted by scammers, send a photo or screenshot of the message to textscam@tvlicensing.co.uk. #StopCheckAsk.”

It’s vital that people do not disclose personal information like this over the phone, as scammers may use the answers to break into personal accounts. Should you receive a message of concern, Action Fraud say you can contact them directly for advice.

Never use the phone number, email or link included in the potentially harmful message – instead, go to the official website and find them for yourself. You should also always keep in mind that your bank will never ask you to supply personal email via email – nor will any other official source.

If you spot a suspicious email, you can also forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) – report@phishing.gov.uk.

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