Beware of TV licence scam

Tuesday 29th January 2019 09:21 EST

There is no shortage of heartless sanctimonious scammers who would not hesitate to milk any one of their last penny, using every trick in the trade to carry out their clever traps. The latest scam is to send emails to thousands of unsuspecting people, especially to trusting elderly people they think are easy picking; will fall in their trap. They are scallywags of the worse type, “Shylocks, Merchants of Misery” who make a living by conning decent people.

The latest scam is sending emails to thousands of people, perpetrating to be from TV licencing authority, informing recipients that their TV licence is about to expire, asking them to reapply immediately, attaching the Form to be filled in that include their Credit Card number, Card Verification Value (CVV), bank details and even personal information like birth date, telephone numbers and full address.

This scam is the latest effort by criminal gangs, many based overseas, in Nigeria, Philippines and India, to hijack official sites, using so-called phishing emails, using sonorous language. Although most regular users of computers, regularly dealing with emails, will not fall in such a trap, as we all receive numerous such emails, which in most cases go straight to our junk email box. But there is a tiny minority, over-trusting and somewhat senile elderly who may fall for it. Even if one in thousand falls for it, they could make a fortune!

Another recent scam we have noticed is text messages we receive, such as, “We will start work on your new roof on such a day, early in the morning, at 7am as agreed. If the time and date is not convenient, please give us a ring to arrange another mutually agreed time and date. 

We may think that this is a genuine message came to wrong person and will ring them on “Premier Line Number” that may cost us a fortune, anything from £10 to £100 per minute and the Call may last from 5 to 20 minutes, using every trick in the trade. The best way to avoid such traps is to bar premium line numbers, thus making it impossible to ring such numbers even by mistake. 

These fraudsters are clever, always one step ahead of their victims. So best policy to retain our sanity is never to act on such emails and texts unless we have requested such services and expecting their emails or phone Calls. It is better to be “Safe than Sorry!” rather than ”Be Wise After the Event!”          

Kumudini Valambia

By email

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