UPDATE 14 March 2019: Victims have lost more than £830,000 to the TV Licensing scam designed to steal victims' personal and bank details.
In the space of a year, Action Fraud has received more than 900 reports of losses due to the phishing email and says it's continuing to see the scam in high numbers.
How to protect yourself from the TV Licensing scam:
At the start of the year, we reported there was a new version of the TV Licensing scam doing the rounds.
Thisversion warns that your TV licence couldn't be automatically renewed because something went wrong with your direct debit payments.
It then urges you to set up a new direct debit by following a link.
Last year, Action Fraud received hundreds of reports of scam TV Licensing refund or payment issue emails in just a matter of days, adding up to more than 2,500 complaints throughout September and October 2018.
The fake emails are sent by scammers in a bid to steal bank account and personal details. Here, we take a look at how these scams work, the emails to look out for and what to do if you have fallen victim.
The emails claim that TV Licensing has been trying to get hold of the victim regarding a refund for an overpayment or that a refund is owed, but due to invalid account details it hasn't been paid.
The fraudsters include links to convincing-looking cloned TV Licensing websites designed to harvest bank account and credit card details.
We asked Action Fraud for examples of these scams. Look out for emails that don't include your correct name or that contain spelling or grammatical errors - like the examples below.
Other fraudulent TV licence emails doing the rounds, state that the receiver's billing information records are out of date and need to be updated. As with the refund emails, these include a prominent link to a near-identical clone of the real TV Licensing website, .
As in the examples below, that were sent to Which? staff, some of these emails are claiming you need to update your details to renew your TV licence or that your licence has been cancelled.
Victims who fall for these scams are asked for a lengthy list of personal and financial information:
Once the victim submits this information, it goes straight to the scammers.
TV Licensing has issued several tips for identifying a genuine email from them:
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.
Action Fraud reported a significant increase in the number of reports of TV licence scam emails in September, as shown in the graph below.
Between 1 and 20 September, there were 799 reports of scam emails promising a TV licence refund sent to the phishing inbox - an average of 40 emails a day. After the report, there was another sharp increase in the number of complaints, up to a whopping 68 per day, on average.
We issued a warning about the TV licence refund scams on the Which? Facebook page, and at the time of writing the post has been shared more than 4,700 times.
It's unclear why there has been such a sharp increase in these scam emails, but we will be keeping an eye on the situation and updating this post with the latest versions of these scams.
If you've entered personal details, you need to be extra vigilant.