Police issue warning over fake TV licensing phishing scam

Joe GampContributor, Yahoo News UK
Yahoo News UK
The public are being warned of a new TV licensing email phishing scam that steals bank details and personal information from victims. (PA)
The public are being warned of a new TV licensing email phishing scam that steals bank details and personal information from victims. (PA)

Various UK police forces have issued warnings over a fake TV licensing email that scams people into revealing their bank details.

Forces across the UK – including Durham, Sussex and North Wales – are warning the public over the fake email that claims the customer’s direct debit payments for their TV licence has failed.

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The scam orders the recipient to disclose their bak details to make a payment, or risk prosecution.

The fraudulent email also offers a “COVID-19 personalised offer” of six months of free licensing in order to lure recipients in.

When unsuspecting victims click on a link, they are taken to a fake sign-in page where fraudsters can steal data including personal details and passwords.

Read more: End of free licence fee for over-75s delayed due to COVID-19

The subject header reads: “We couldn’t process the latest payment from your Debit Card – COVID19 Personalised Offer: You are be eligible for a 1 x 6 months of free TVLicence”.

The email then clicks through to for victims to enter a new direct debit on a website controlled by the criminals.

The phishing scam is commonly seen around the start of a new tax year in April. (Getty Images)
The phishing scam is commonly seen around the start of a new tax year in April. (Getty Images)

Action Fraud said that they received over 70 reports of a new version of the email phishing scam.

The phishing scam is often seem around the start of a new tax year in April, with another widely circuated trick claiming that recipients are owed a tax refund. 

Read more: How do you cancel your TV Licence?

On it’s official website, a statement from the TV Licensing Company says: “The genuine TV Licensing Company will never email you to tell you that you’re entitled to a refund, or offer you a discounted TV License.”

The end of the free TV licence for all over-75s has been delayed because of the coronavirus outbreak. (PA)
The end of the free TV licence for all over-75s has been delayed because of the coronavirus outbreak. (PA)

People who receive the scam email are urged to report it to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) immediately, by forwarding it to report@phishing.gov.uk

Meanwhile, the controversial end of the free TV licence for all over-75s has been delayed due to coronavirus.

The universal benefit was due to end on 1 June, when it will be restricted to those who claim pension credit, but that has now been pushed back until 1 August.

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