As well all know, the TV license fee goes towards funding the BBC and if you watch or record live TV without a license you can be fined up to £1000. Even on your mobile or using BBC iPlayer!
A fine from the TV licensing authority would be extremely worrying financially, but what’s happening now is that fraudsters are using fake emails that look and feel as if they are being sent by the TV Licensing authority to commit fraud. Their aim? to attempt to extort larger sums of money from innocent British citizens.
The emails claim that your license is going to expire because of a failed payment and that you need to click on a link to fix the problem.
“Oops! Something went wrong with your payment.
We’re sorry to let you know that the TVLicense could not be automatically renewed. Renew your licence before it expires to remain legally licensed.
If you don’t keep up with your payments, we may be forced to cancel your licence or pass your details to a debt collection agency.”
The website that the email then takes you to also looks very convincing and looks like it’s from TV Licensing where you have to disclose your personal and financial information. But it’s not.
Unlike in the 1980s where you could easily spot the TV Licensing people sniffing around, today the fraudsters have used every trick in the book to disugise themselves to be authentic. And thousands of UK citizens are falling for the email scam giving away thousands of pounds to these cyber fraudsters. However, a well trained cyber user can spot the hidden mistakes.
How to spot the real from the fake?
- The real TV licencing sender’s address will always be [email protected] or [email protected] and nothing else, for example [email protected] So if the email sender isn’t one of those best to delete the email immediately.
- Hovering over any link in the email will show you the website URL the email intends to take you to. Check it and if it doesn’t appear to link to www.tvlicensing.co.uk then do not click on it as it’s a fraudulent attempt to capture your personal details or download a virus onto your computer.
- Check spelling, grammar and how they introduce you. If it’s all wrong or isn’t personal such as “Dear name” or “Dear saluation/name” and looks/feels suspicious, then it’s likely to be fraudulent.
If you’re unsure, have a look at the guide the TV Licensing Authority have published on their website regarding this email scam to help you recognise what’s real and what’s not at https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/faqs/FAQ288