Members of the public have reported receiving a suspicious text message claiming they are entitled to a TV licence refund.
A text message that tells people they are entitled to a full TV licence refund due to the coronavirus pandemic is a scam.
Cyber criminals are attempting to trick members of the public into providing their personal information by sending out texts and emails relating to COVID-19.
The latest scam involves a text that tells the recipient they are eligible for a full refund of the £157.50 TV licence fee.
In full, the text says: “Records show that you are eligible for a full refund due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The text then tells the recipient to visit tvlicenceuk.net in order to reclaim the refund.
There are fears some viewers will believe the message as TV production has been hit hard by the pandemic.
Our FREE membership package helps protect businesses against cyber attacks - full details here
Anyone who receives the text should not follow the link and make sure you are either visiting tvlicensing.co.uk, or spp.tvlicensing.co.uk.
On their website, TV Licensing UK insists they will never ask for a refund or attempt to set up a payment plan.
They will also never ask for any personal data before logging onto your own account.
If you do receive this text, send a photo or screenshot of the message to email@example.com.
For those who have followed the link, TV Licensing advises to contact Action Fraud.
It is not the first time cyber criminals have sought to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week, we reported how fraudsters are sending fake NHS text messages in an attempt to steal personal and financial information. The text offers a link to an "extremely convincing" fake NHS website where people are asked to input their bank details to register for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Scammers have also used emails in previous attempts to trick the public.
In an email which circulated last month, Britons were urged in the scam to pay a fee or they will lose their coverage.
The email read: “Today is your last chance to remain licensed. You won’t be covered if you let your licence expire.
“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.
“To change your payment method, have a look at your options.
“All you need to do is make sure there’s enough money in your account.
"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.”
Again, TV Licensing advises the public to be aware of any email address as often they are hidden.
Usually, the scammers will show a false licence number and asked for an urgent payment.
If you receive this email, report it to firstname.lastname@example.org and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) will investigate.
The contents of this blog provided for general information only and are not intended to replace specific professional advice relevant to your situation. The intention of East Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre (EMCRC) is to encourage cyber resilience by raising issues and disseminating information on the experiences and initiatives of others. Articles on the website cannot by their nature be comprehensive and may not reflect most recent legislation, practice, or application to your circumstances. EMCRC provides affordable services and Trusted Partners if you need specific support. For specific questions please contact us by email.
EMCRC does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information or materials published on this blog. EMCRC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites that link to this site or which are linked from it.