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Tackling your debts

What you need to know about the new TV license scam

Posted 25 September 2016 by Christine Walsh

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Don’t fall foul of the TV license refund scam

Scammers continue to find new ways to try and get their hands on your hard-earned money. To make sure you don’t fall foul of any of their schemes, it’s important to keep up to date about how they work. 

One of the newer scams to come to light recently is the ‘TV license refund’ scam. Here’s what you need to look out for. 

 

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How the scam works

In this case, the scammer sends genuine looking emails to people claiming to be from the TV Licensing company. The email will say that you’re due a refund as you’ve overpaid for your TV license and that you need to click a link in the email. 

The page that the link directs you to looks like the real TV Licensing website and once you’re there, they ask you to fill in your bank details so that they can send you your refund. Of course, as it’s not genuine, once they have your details they will use them to steal money. 

What to do if you’ve got one of these emails

TV Licensing will never contact you via email to tell you about a refund. If you’ve got an email like this, don’t click on any links, open any attachments or provide any of your personal details. 

The reason why you shouldn’t open any attachments or links is that doing this could infect your computer with malware. Malware is short for malicious software, and it can stay hidden in the background of your PC and steal personal and sensitive information. 

If you get one of these emails, you should report it to Action Fraud – the official way to report suspected scammers – and it will find its way to the right people who can investigate it further. 

Do I have to pay my TV license?

If you watch live TV, which in this case means TV as it’s being broadcast, you have to pay for a TV license. If you want to watch any BBC shows, including on their BBC iPlayer catch-up service, you need a TV license for this too. It is an important bill because, if it gets left unpaid, the consequences can include prosecution – although it is rare for this to happen. 

Our blog will explain all, if you want to know how you can still watch shows and some TV channels legally without having to pay the license fee. 

So, in a lot of cases you do have to pay for a TV license and it is possible to renew this online. However, TV Licensing has confirmed that it will not be contacting people about a refund via email, so if you get an email claiming to be from them, it’s best to exercise caution. 

Make sure you take care of your money

In today’s world, a big part of good money management is making sure you guard your personal details carefully and stay safe online. Make sure you know how to protect your money online and what the tell-tale signs of a scam are. 

 

by Christine Walsh

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.