TV licence fraud alert as thousands hit with fake email

Action Fraud has issued a scam warning about a fake TV licensing email being sent out by fraudsters in efforts to steal people’s bank details.

The group received 3,455 reports in just two weeks about the scam email. It shared a post on Twitter to urge people to look out for the fake message.

The email claims to be from TV Licensing saying there was an issue with the person’s latest payment.

The bogus message provides links to “genuine-looking” websites where people input their personal or financial information.

Scammers can use a person’s personal details to commit identity fraud, potentially opening bank accounts or taking out loans in their name.

They may also use their bank account details to pay for items online or to try and steal funds from the account.

Action Fraud said: “If you have any doubts about a message, contact the organisation directly.

“Don’t use the numbers or address in the message – use the details from their official website.

“Your bank (or any other official source) will never ask you to supply personal information via email.”

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Those who receive a suspicious email can report it by forwarding the email to [email protected].

Another common scam is the ‘Hi Mum’ WhatsApp scam, where a scammer contacts someone pretending to be their son or daughter, who has purportedly lost their phone.

John Stirzaker, consumer expert at, told fraudsters are changing up how they do this scam to try and make it more convincing.

He said: “Now this text isn’t just a straight-forward, ‘Hand me the money my phone is broken’, it’s now developed where they’ll message

“We urge everyone who has been approached by a scammer to report the incident to Action Fraud and to ring up the bank straight away if any financial transactions were involved, so they’re aware of the situation.”

The expert spoke about some of the warning signs a message may be fake that people should look out for.

One tell-tale sign is if the message requests personal details over email or in another message, as a real company would never do this.

The expert explained: “If you receive a message asking you to hand over your bank details or address then it’s likely it’s not genuine.

“It’s important to try and recognise what a legitimate message from your bank or energy provider looks like.

“If you receive anything that looks even a little suspicious or too good to be true, hop on the phone and check with the company.

“They’ll be able to put your mind at ease and if the message you received is a scam then be sure to report it.”

Mr Stirzaker said people who know someone who is more vulnerable to scams can encourage them not to hand over personal details via text message, through email or on unexpected phone calls.

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