TV Licence: Head of Silver Voices hits out at cost for pensioners
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The TV licence underwent an important change in 2020, meaning over 75s who are not in receipt of Pension Credit will no longer receive a free licence. While this has split opinion, many will now have to get their affairs in order to meet the payment. To provide Britons with support amid the pandemic, the BBC announced a “transition period” to meet payments.
With this coming to an end on July 31, many will now be taking the time to look at their licence fee and start or renew the sum.
But this is proving a ripe opportunity for scammers to target unsuspecting individuals and con them out of their cash.
One scam has taken place via email, and reads: “Your licence is due for renewal. Renewal number 43059156. Don’t miss your renewal. GOV.UK.
“We’d love to keep you as a customer, and there is still time to complete your subscription.
TV Licence scam spreads as pensioners meet new payments this week – ‘nearly convinced!’ (Image: Getty•PA)
“Your TV Licence expires on 30 July 2021 – please renew today.
“Just remember to keep your licence payments up to date to make sure you stay licensed.”
The scam email has copied official TV Licensing branding as well as using professional photographs which add legitimacy to the correspondence.
However, this is simply an example of “phishing”, a type of scam which has increased in commonality in recent years.
While the message may look official, it is in fact false, and being used by scammers to lure in unsuspecting victims.
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When clicking the link contained within, it is likely Britons will be redirected to a website which also looks official.
As a result, many may be comfortable with entering personal details such as name, billing address and credit or debit card information to supposedly pay their licence fee.
However, these websites are simply a ruse to easily harvest the sensitive data of the person concerned.
Cybercriminals can then make off with this information, using it for unscrupulous purposes such as identity fraud.
This could be putting Britons’ hard-earned cash at risk, and may have devastating consequences for those who fall prey.
TV Licence: European TV Licence fees (Image: EXPRESS)
As a result, it is always important to be on guard, and no more so than as the transition period comes to an end in just days time.
With this in mind, the real TV Licensing took to its social media account to warn Britons of scam correspondence.
It penned: “Think you may have received a scam email from TV Licensing? Stop, check, ask.
“TV Licensing include your last name and title if you’ve given it to them. Many scam simply use your email address or say ‘Dear Customer’.”
This key warning sign could be particularly helpful for Britons in spotting the real from the fake.
However, there are also other signs which could set alarm bells ringing in a person’s head.
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Poor spelling, punctuation and grammar within an email is always considered a sure fire sign of a scam.
Similarly, Britons are encouraged to look at the email address which sent them the correspondence to check if it is official.
Finally, individuals can also independently call the TV Licensing company, or log into their account to check the status of their licence themselves.
A number of people shared their worries about the scam targeting them and others via social media.
One person said: “I had a very convincing looking TV Licence scam email today saying my licence has expired – click here to renew.”
Another warned: “Scam Alert! Just got this email from ‘TV Licensing’. Turns out my TV Licence costs £560.68 a year! Please share and watch out for the vulnerable.”
A third person wrote: “It’s got to the point that if I don’t get some sort of scam communication, it isn’t a real day.
“The fake emails go from ludicrous to scarily authentic looking. Stop sending me notices to renew my UK TV Licence!”
And a fourth stated: “Very convincing scam email about my TV Licence – even I was nearly convinced!”