TV Licence Scam Sees Thousands Targeted In NI

The TV Licensing authority has issued a warning about a scam doing the rounds in Northern Ireland after they received reports of around 2,500 fraudulent emails.

The suspect emails inform customers that they are owed a refund, or say their billing information is out of date and needs to be updated, before linking the target to a 'copycat' TV Licensing website.

People are then asked to input their personal and financial details on the unsecure and unofficial site.

TV Licensing has seen a rise in calls about the scam, and cyber crime watchdog Action Fraud confirmed that it has received around 2,500 reports of the suspect emails.

Alana Taylor, a spokeswoman for the organisation said: "In common with other large organisations like HMRC, TV Licensing suffers from fraudsters sending scam emails to the public posing as genuine communicators for the organisation.

"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.
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"Anyone who has provided their details as a result of a fraudulent email should report it via ActionFraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. If they have provided bank details, they should call their bank urgently."

The provision costs £150.50 and is required by law to watch live TV or download shows on the BBC iPlayer.

Below are some tips on how to spot scam emails:

• Look out for emails which don't include your name or which are addressed to your email address, as TV Licensing will never do this.

• If there are spelling or grammatical mistakes, an email is likely to be a fake.

• Assess how is the email written...does it seem too casual or familiar?

• Check the email subject. Anything like "Action required", "Security alert", "System Upgrade" or "There is a message waiting for you" should be treated as suspect.

• Check the email address. Does it look like a genuine TV Licensing address? For example, donotreply@tvlicensing.co.uk.

• Hover over the links in the email to check if their destination is the official TV Licensing website. If in doubt, just go directly to the TV Licensing website.


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