There’s no rest for the wicked. Scammers have found a way to get a common TV licence scam past your spam filters. Could you spot it? Here’s how they did it.
Last month, we reported that more than £830k has been lost to a TV licensing scam email.
Now it would seem this scam has taken another twist in a bid to circumnavigate your spam filters and steal victims’ personal and bank details.
Make no mistake, this scam is dangerous. The figures already lost to it speak volumes. So how does Fairtrade come in to this?
Email domain spoofing
A Which? colleague recently received the below email:
As you’ll note from the senders email, the scammers have managed to spoof the genuine @fairtrade.org.uk domain, which meant that the target’s spam filters didn’t pick it up.
It’s very much similar to the case we saw back in November, when an HMRC scam was sent under the guise of MI6 – using the Secret Service’s official domain.
We’ve contacted Fairtrade about this and are yet to hear back. We’ll be updating this page if we get a response.
Spotting a TV licence scam
For anyone in a rush and panicking about getting a fine, it’s easy to skim over the sender (which is usually one of the biggest telltale signs the email is a scam) and go straight to the very official-looking email.
TV Licensing has issued several tips for identifying a genuine email from them:
⚠ Check that the email contains your name – TV Licensing will always include your name in any emails it sends you.
⚠ Check the email subject line – be suspicious of subjects such as ‘action required’, ‘security alert’ etc.
⚠ Check the email address – genuine emails will only come from addresses ending with ‘@tvlicensing.co.uk’
⚠ Check the spelling and grammar – look for spelling mistakes, missing full stops or other grammatical errors.
⚠ Asked for personal details? TV Licensing will never ask you to reply to an email to provide bank details or personal information, and you should be wary of any correspondence that does.
Have you received a scam from a reputable organisation’s official email address?
If so, please let us know in the comments below. We not only want to warn others of what the scammers are up to, but let the implicated companies know so they can ramp up their security.