How to spot a TV Licence scam | 붯

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Spotting TV Licence scams

Be cautious about any emails from TV Licensing that ask you to update your personal or banking details. There are lots of reports of people receiving TV licence scams.

What is a TV licence scam?

People aged 75 and over have to pay for a TV Licence. Unfortunately, criminals often contact older people claiming to be from TV Licencing asking them to send money.

This scam can come as a text, phone call, letter, or – most often – as a phishing email. It'll be disguised to look like it's been sent by the TV Licensing organisation. They may say you're entitled to a refund for an overpayment or warn that your licence is about to expire. They'll then ask you to respond by entering your bank details on a fake website.

What is a phishing email?

Phishing emails are a common type of email fraud, where scammers will send emails pretending to be from a trusted organisation. This is to trick you into clicking through to a fake website where you're prompted to enter your personal details.

The emails may use the TV Licensing logo and have other features that make them look authentic, but you should never trust them or click on any links. If you want to check the details of your TV licence, go directly to the TV Licensing website.

How do I spot a TV Licence scam?

There are a few common signs that you shouldn't trust an email:

The sender has an unusual email address

The TV Licensing organisation will use or to email you. The scammers can't send emails using these addresses. Instead, they may come from a personal email account or one which looks unusual.

Sometimes scammers can set their display name to be a trusted email account but their real email address, which will be shown between the <> symbols, will show that it's coming from a different account.

The email doesn't use your name or has an incorrect account number

TV Licensing will usually include your name in their emails unless you told them you didn't need a licence and didn't provide a name. The scammers may insert an incorrect customer ID in the hope that you won't check it.

It contains spelling and grammatical errors and inconsistent styles

Although all writers can make mistakes, it's common to find grammatical and spelling errors on phishing emails. They may also seem too casual or unusually formal or use colours and styles that are inconsistent with the organisation's style.

Click here to view our infographic on how to spot a TV licence scam

What does real TV Licensing communication look like?

TV Licensing sends letters to anyone aged 75+ asking them to either pay for their TV licence or apply for a free one if they also claim pension credit. The letter TV Licensing sends will include your licence number, your title and your last name and they will only ask you to pay using the following options:

  • By post using the address TV Licensing, PO Box 578, Darlington DL98 1AN
  • Online at  
  • Over the phone on 0300 555 0286

If you're contacted and asked to pay for your TV licence using a different website or by posting your details to a different address, this is a scam. 

What should I do if I receive this scam?

If you get this email, don't reply with any details or click on any links or attachments. You can report phishing attempts to:

  • : Not all reports will be investigated, but every report will help Action Fraud better understand the scale of the problem and the methods that scammers are using.
  • forward the email to this government account to help them keep up to date on scammers' methods.

What should I do if I've been scammed?

If you've entered your details into a TV licence scam, you should report it to:

  • Your bank: If you think you've lost money through one of these scams, contact your bank by calling either the centralised number 159 or the phone number on the back of your bank card.
  • : Report it to Action Fraud through their website or by calling them on 0300 123 2040.

Find out more about what support is available if you've been scammed

Phone icon We're here to help

We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 120 local 붯s.

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Last updated: Apr 08 2024

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