By Lyndsey Hall
Have you received an unexpected email from TV Licensing recently? Be aware, fraudsters have recently scammed victims out of over £200,000 with fake emails.
Action Fraud, the UK’s anti-fraud agency, has issued a warning after receiving thousands of reports on fake TV Licensing emails. The scammers sent emails claiming victims’ bank details needed updating or they were due a refund, and stole personal and financial information. In December 2018 alone, Action Fraud received 200 crime reports in relation to the emails, with victims reporting a total loss of £233,455.
The anti-fraud agency also says the new wave of phishing emails is part of a larger fraud, in which criminals are calling victims and claiming to be bank employees. After a week or two, the fraudsters call the victim and impersonate their bank, using the personal and financial details gathered from the email scam. They then convince the victim their account has been compromised—possibly by a phishing scam, ironically—and that they need to transfer their money to a new “safe” account.
Pauline Smith, director of Action Fraud, said: “Bank staff and police officers will never ask you to ove money to a safe account. It is also important that you never click on links in emails you were not expecting. If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, please report it to us.”
A TV Licensing spokesperson 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.”
If you have recently received an email purporting to be from TV Licensing, possibly with a subject like “correct your licensing information”, “renew now” or “billing information update”, and asking you to click a link, please mark it as phishing in your email provider and report it to Action Fraud.