Do you watch live TV or BBC iPlayer? A worrying scam is circulating which could drain your bank account

Person uses remote control and scam warning

Action Fraud is urging people to beware a fake TV Licence renewal scam that's circulating

Jessica Sheldon

By Jessica Sheldon

Published: 25/02/2024

- 05:00

Fraudsters are purporting to be from TV Licensing to try and access important information

Britons are being urged to watch out for convincing yet fake TV licence fee emails, as fraudsters try to steal personal and financial information.

Anyone who watches live TV or BBC iPlayer will need to watch out, as the scam email claims the recipient's TV licence has expired.

Action Fraud has shared a warning on social media, explaining they've been made aware of these fake messages where fraudsters purport to be from TV Licensing.

There are links within the messages, which imitate TV Licensing branding, which lead to genuine-looking websites.

TV Licensing fake email in Action Fraud alert

Action Fraud warned of the fake TV Licensing emails on social media


However, they are designed to steal personal and financial information.

An example reads: "Please renew your licence now, it only takes a few minutes. Your TV licence expires on 17 February 2024. To renew, choose whether you want to pay monthly or all in one go, get your payment details ready and then it's done for another year."

There is then a "renew now" button which leads to the fake website.

The message adds: "Renewing on time means more of the licence fee goes towards BBC TV, radio and online services. Thank you."

Scammers try to seem more authoritative by including details such as a "licence number" and a note on the £159 fee.

The TV Licensing website says people who have already entered their personal details on a suspicious site should report it to Action Fraud online or by telephone on 0300 123 2040.

If this includes submitting card or bank account details, people should talk to their bank "immediately".

Fraudsters often tell the recipient that they need to make an urgent payment. TV Licensing will only email customers about payments if they have missed one, and customers can check this online by logging into their account via the official website.

While scammers sometimes say a person is entitled to a refund or a cheaper licence, TV Licensing says they won't do this unless a person has contacted them about a refund and they are replying.

It's also important to be aware of fake licence numbers, which the scam emails may contain.

For those who have clicked the link in the email, there may be some signs it's not legitimate.

For instance, the website address should be or, TV Licensing said.

Furthermore, the genuine website wouldn't ask for one's mother's maiden name.

Date of birth won't be asked for, unless the person is over 74 and applying for a free TV licence (because they get Pension Credit).

Customers also won't need to enter their card details to make a missed payment until they've signed in using their licence number, last name and postcode.

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