TV licence payments must be met by almost all Britons who wish to watch live television in the home, and currently cost £157.50 per year. With people able to set up their payments via Direct Debit, some will have the money automatically withdrawn from their account each month. A new email scam appears to be preying on this fact, to tell Britons that allegedly their Direct Debit payment has failed.
The message reads: “We’re sorry to let you know that the TV Licence could not be automatically renewed. Something’s gone wrong with your payments.
“As we couldn’t take the latest payment from your bank account, this amount will also need to be paid when you set up your new Direct Debit.
“Remember, if you don’t keep up with your payments, we may be forced to cancel your licence or pass your details on to a debt collection agency.
“To change your payment method, have a look at all your options. So all you need to do is make sure there’s enough money in your account.
If a person enters their information to supposedly resolve their Direct Debit issue, it is likely these details will be harvested.
These could be used for unscrupulous purposes, such as identity fraud, which could leave individuals significantly out of pocket.
Several Britons shared close brushes with the scam to urge others to be vigilant and avoid falling victim.
One said: “My friend had a message from TV Licence, filled all their details in.
“Then realised TV Licence only do letters, and the scammers didn’t get anything.”
While a fifth person said: “TV Licence scam. Don’t get caught out by this! If you’ve received a scam email please report this.”
When it comes to scam emails claiming to be from the TV Licensing company, the organisation has issued guidance.
The company has said it will always include the name and part of a person’s postcode in genuine emails, but that scam correspondence will usually start with ‘Dear Customer’.
The company’s website reads: “Scam emails often tell you that you need to make an urgent payment. We only email customers about payments if they have missed one.
“We won’t ask for your mother’s maiden name, or your date of birth unless you’re over 74 and applying for a free TV Licence.”
TV Licensing will also never ask for card details until a person has signed in using their licence number, surname and postcode.