TV licence customers warned of scam attempts linked to emails
TV Licensing has issued a scam warning to Northern Ireland residents after receiving around 2,500 reports of fraudulent emails.
The suspect emails claim recipients are owed a refund or state their billing information is out of date in order to dupe unsuspecting customers.
Customers are then linked through to 'copycat' TV Licensing websites which ask them to input their personal and financial details.
TV Licensing said they have recently seen a rise in calls about this scam and cyber crime watchdog Action Fraud has received around 2,500 reports of the suspect emails.
"In common with other large organisations like HMRC, TV Licensing suffers from fraudsters sending scam emails to the public posing as genuine TV Licensing communications," said Alana Taylor, spokeswoman for the organisation.
"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 details as a result of a fraudulent email should report it via ActionFraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. If they have provided bank details, they should call their bank urgently."
A TV licence costs £150.50 and is required to watch live TV or to watch or download shows on the BBC iPlayer.
TV Licensing said there are a number of tips to follow to help identify scam emails, including looking out for those which don't include your name or those addressed directly to your email address. Phrases such as 'action required' or 'security alert' in the email subject line should also be treated as suspect.
Poor grammar and spelling are also a red flag. It was reported this month TV Licence scammers in London were caught out after spelling the word "licence" incorrectly in a fake email.