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TV Licence fee scam - the dangerous fake email and the real refunds available

Mirror logo Mirror 04/01/2019 James Andrews
a close up of a piece of paper: Beware the new TV Licence scam email © PA Beware the new TV Licence scam email

A new warning has been issued about a convincing scam email pretending to be from TV Licensing.

Action Fraud has said it has more than 5,000 complaints about the scam email in the last three months alone as criminals try to con people into passing them their details.

The emails try to trick people with subject lines like "correct your licensing information" and "your TV licence expires today" to convince people to open them.

TV Licensing warned that it never asks for this sort of infomation over email.

"Some customers are receiving scam email messages saying they are due a refund or need to keep up their payments," it said in a warning to customers .

"A link directs customers to a fake version of the official TV Licensing website which asks them to enter personal information and bank details.

"If you receive a similar email message,  please delete it."

 

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Scam refund emails too

Action Fraud has warned that it's had more than 200 reports of a TV licence refund scam too, adding that TV Licensing would never email to tell you you're due a refund.

Instead, the scammers are simply trying to get you to enter your bank account details.

The worrying thing is that there are actual refunds available for some Britons - with £37 back a real possibility - something scammers are trying to exploit.

Related: 16 sneaky scams that fooled thousands of Brits (Lovemoney)

The refund Scam in full

The email reads:

"This is an official notification from TV Licensing!

"We would like to notify you that, after the last annual calculation we have determined that you are eligible to receive a TV Licensing refund of 85.07 GBP.

"Due to invalid account details records, we were unable to credit your account. Please fill in the TV Licensing refund request and allow us 5-6 working days to the amount to be credited to your account."

It's a lie. There is no refund available and even if there was, TV Licensing simply doesn't email people telling them they are due refunds.

"A small number of our customers have received scam email messages saying they are due a refund. A link directs customers to a fake version of the official TV Licensing website which asks them to enter personal information and bank details," TV Licensing warned .

"If you receive a similar email message, please delete it. If you have already clicked the link, do not enter or submit any information. TV Licensing never sends refund information by email and is investigating the source of this fraud."

Legal TV licence discounts

a screen shot of a man © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

But while this email is fake, there are ways to pay less for a TV Licence.

As TV licences apply to addresses, not individuals, as long as someone qualifying for a discount lives at your address and the licence is in their name, the whole house benefits.

So who gets a discount? Well, older Britons don't need a TV licence.

That means when you reach the age of 75, you can apply for a free over 75 TV Licence . They last 3 years and will be sent out provided you give them your national insurance number. In fact, if you're 74, you can even apply for a short-term licence to cover up up until your 75th birthday.

Secondly, while it's not free, but anyone who's blind (severely sight impaired) can get half price TV licences . Again, this means the rest of the house is covered too.

If you're renting, you don't need a separate TV licence for your room if you have a relationship with the homeowner (and live in their main house) or a joint tenancy agreement - but do need one if you have a separate tenancy agreement for just your room.

There are also other times you might be able to get money back on the £147 - for example if you're a student you can get a refund . 

What your licence covers

a man standing in front of a building © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

If you live somewhere with a TV licence, you don't need another if you're watching TV on a device that runs on batteries elsewhere (ie a tablet, phone or handheld TV) as long as it's not plugged into the mains.

If you're on (or own) a boat or touring caravan you also don't need a new TV licence to watch telly or use iPlayer in that either.

You're also covered for static caravans, mobile homes and movable chalets - provided no one is at home watching TV while you're using them. If someone is at the main address, you need to fill out a declaration form .

However, if you have a second or holiday house, flat, bungalow or cottage then that needs its own TV licence if you're going to watch live (or recorded live) TV or use iPlayer there - no matter what device it's on.

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