Victim entering credit card details on phishing website
Home ScamsPhishing Scams TV Licensing Renewal Phishing Scam Email

TV Licensing Renewal Phishing Scam Email

by Brett M. Christensen

According to this email, which purports to be from the UK’s TV Licensing authority, your TV licence could not be automatically renewed because your direct debit payment was declined.

The email claims that “something’s gone wrong with your payments” and urges you to click a link to set up a new direct debit. It warns that, if you fail to make the outstanding payment, TV Licensing “may be forced to cancel your license or pass your details to a debt collection agency”.

However, TV Licensing did not send the email and the claim that you must click a link to make a payment is a lie. In fact, the message is a phishing scam designed to steal your personal and financial information. It has no connection to TV Licensing.
If you click the link, you will be taken to a fraudulent website that includes branding to make it look like it is an official TV Licensing page. Once on the fake site, you will be asked to provide your name and contact details, your credit card number, and other identifying information via a bogus “payment update” form.

Online criminals can collect the information you supply on the form and use it to commit credit card fraud and steal your identity.

Criminals regularly use fake TV Licensing notification messages to steal information from people. Be wary of any unsolicited email or text message that claims that there is a problem with your TV Licence and you must follow a link to deal with the problem.

Some versions of the scam claim that you are owed a refund. Again, clicking a link in the message opens a scam website that tries to trick you into supplying your personal and financial information.

TV Licensing has information about recognizing scam messages on its website.  Action Fraud,  the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, also has information about TV Licensing scams.

Screenshots of two versions of the scam:

TV Licensing Phishing Scam

TV Licensing Renewal Scam Email

Transcript of the emails:

Subject: myTV Licensing Notification Direct-Debit on 1/16/2020 9:14:35 a.m. #

An important message from TV Licensing

Dear [email address removed],

We are sorry to let you know that the TV License 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.

Setup Direct Debit

Remember, if you don’t keep up with your payments, we may be forced to cancel your license or pass your details 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.

Or , if you prefer to pay the missed amount now, you can sign in online and pay using your debit or credit card. While you’re signed in, please make sure we have your correct bank details.

Kind Regards,

TV Licensing

 

Subject: It looks like you are covered until 12/10/2019 ~ Please setup DirectDebit ~ GB[Supp]

We’re sorry to let you know that the TV License could not be automatically renewed.

Dear [Email Address removed],

Your bank has declined the latest Direct Debit payment.

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.

Setup New Direct Debit

Remember If you don’t keep up with your payments, we may be forced to cancel your license or pass your details 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.

Or , if you prefer to pay the missed amount now, you can sign in online and pay using your debit or credit card.

While you’re signed in, please make sure we have your correct bank details.

2019 TV Licensing



Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer