Scam warning: the fake TV Licensing emails designed to steal your bank details

Scam warning: the fake TV Licensing emails designed to steal your bank details
The scam emails try to steal your bank account and credit card details (Photo: Shutterstock)

TV owners are being warned not to fall victim to a fraudulent new email scam, which promises a refund on licensing costs in a bid to steal their bank account details.

The warning has been issued by Action Fraud after receiving more than 100 reports of scam emails which lure victims to phishing websites.

What do the emails say?

The emails claim that TV Licensing have been trying to contact recipients promising a refund on their licensing fee.

Victims are then asked to follow a link to a convincing fake TV Licensing website, designed to steal your bank account and credit card details.

A spokesperson from Action Fraud said: “There have been over 100 reports about these scam emails in the past few days that appear to have been constantly evolving.

“They claim that TV Licensing have been trying to get hold of recipients regarding an over-payment refund, or that due to invalid account details a credit was not possible.

“The refund links lead to cloned TV Licensing websites that are designed to harvest bank account and credit card details.”

Links within the emails lure victims to phishing websites (Photo: Shutterstock)
Links within the emails lure victims to phishing websites (Photo: Shutterstock)

How to spot a scam email

Scam emails can often be very convincing, but there are some telltale signs to look out for to help protect yourself from getting caught out by fraudsters.

TV Licensing shared the following tips for spotting a scam email:

  • 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, donotreply@tvlicensing.co.uk. 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
  • Never provide details by email – TV Licensing will never ask you to reply to an email and provide bank details or personal information

To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use the online fraud reporting tool.