Action Fraud are again issuing fresh warnings over an ongoing TV Licensing phishing scam. The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau are continuing to receive high numbers of complaints through their reporting service.
Fraudsters are sending members of the public fake TV Licensing emails, which are designed to steal personal and financial information. Action Fraud has received over 900 crime reports since April 2018,and the losses to victims totals more than £830,000.
Director of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith said: “We are continuing to see reports of fraudsters using fake TV Licensing emails to hook victims in and trick them into parting with their money. These fraudsters are very confident and extremely convincing, often using personal details to give the impression they are legitimate. We don’t want any more people to fall victim, which is why we’re encouraging you to spot the signs of fraudulent emails following the protect advice. If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, please report it to us.”
Back in October 2018, Action Fraud released a warning about TV Licensing phishing emails, after a large number of reports were received. New TV Licensing phishing emails are part of larger fraud, in which criminals are calling victims and claiming to be bank employees, convincing them to hand over their money.
According to Action Fraud, Fraudsters are sending out fake TV Licence emails regarding refunds and payment issues to people across the UK. The emails contain headlines such as ‘correct your licensing information’ or ‘billing information updates’ and ‘renew now’ to trick people into clicking on the link provided in the email. Within a week or so, fraudsters will then call the victim, claiming to be from the fraud department of the victim’s bank. By using the information the victim provided through the fake website, fraudsters appear legitimate and able to convince victims they are genuine bank employees. The fraudsters then claim that the victim’s account has been compromised and they need to transfer their money to a ‘safe account’.
A spokesperson for TV Licensing 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. TV Licensing offers helpful information about scam emails on their website.”
How you can protect yourself, advice from Action Fraud:
1. Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details.
2. Don’t assume a phone call or email is authentic, even if someone knows your basis details (such as your name or address). Remember, criminals can spoof phone numbers and email addresses to appear as companies you know and trust, such as TV Licensing.
3. Your bank will never call and ask you for your PIN, full banking password, or ask you to transfer money out of your account.
What to do if you’ve fallen victim:
1. Let your bank know as soon as possible and monitor your bank statements regularly for any unusual activity.
2. If you suspect your identity may have been stolen you can check your credit file quickly and easily online. Use a reputable service provider and follow up on any unexpected or suspicious results.
3. If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, report it to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.