Email security and scam advice

Image of a laptop and mobile phone with an email alert on each screen

Already entered your personal details on a fake site or in response to a phone call? Report it to Action Fraud or call them on 0300 123 2040. If this included card or bank account details, talk to your bank immediately.

We will always:

  • use donotreply@tvlicensing.co.uk (or donotreply@spp.tvlicensing.co.uk) to email you. On a mobile device select the sender’s name to reveal the email address.
  • include your name in our emails (unless you told us you don’t need a licence and didn’t provide a name).

If you’re still not sure please check our advice below. You can also view your licence or payment plan.

 
What we'll never do

Fraudulent emails try to catch you off your guard by panicking you into taking action immediately. Fake websites will ask you to do things we never would.

We'll never unprompted:

  • email you to tell you that you’re entitled to a refund
  • offer you a discounted TV Licence
  • call you using an automated voice message to let you know there are any issues with your licence, payments or security and ask you to call an 0345 number.

On our website we'll never ask for:

  • your card details to take a missed payment before we’ve first asked you to sign in to identify yourself using your licence number, surname and post code
  • your mother’s maiden name
  • your date of birth (unless you’re 74 or over and applying for a free TV Licence)
Four quick ways to spot a scam

1. Check the sender's email address

Scammers will try to disguise their email address because they normally can't use a genuine TV Licensing one. On a computer or laptop, you’ll normally see the email address between the <> symbols, as shown below.

Note: On a mobile device you may need to select the sender’s name to show the email address.

example of fake and genuine email address between <> symbols.

2. Check how scammers address you - it's hardly ever by name

Genuine TV Licensing emails will always use your title and last name. Scammers may simply use your email address, or say ‘Dear Customer’ or nothing at all.

Our emails use your title and name. Scams rarely do

3. Check links in the email

Do not click on links or attachments. If you’re unsure, you can inspect links first, as follows.

On a computer, hover over the link with your mouse (but don’t click it).

hover over an email link to inspect it

On a mobile or tablet, press down and hold (don’t release whilst on the link).

on a mobile hold down over the link to inspect it, then cancel or click off the pop up

4. Check addresses of any websites it takes you to

If you’re not sure the website is genuine, don't enter any information. If you have any doubts type in ‘www.tvlicensing.co.uk' into the address bar to arrive at the official TV Licensing website.

Scammers can’t use ‘www.tvlicensing.co.uk’ for copy-cat sites. They’ll try to disguise this so carefully inspect the full address in the browser bar.

How scammers fake it

One way is to make a tiny spelling mistake or change so small it looks genuine at first glance.

Fake TV Licence website addresses. A tiny spelling mistake is present

Another way is to bury the website name at the end of a longer one which has .tvlicensing.co.uk. near the start.

The site name (e.g. ‘tvlicensing.co.uk’) has to come just before the first ‘/’ symbol. In the example below www.safetechltd.co.uk tells you this is a fake site.

Image of fake site address- the real name is always before the first / symbol

Check for a change in style and errors in spelling or grammar

Often, scammers will take the real emails and amend them. Look out for changes in the wording used, especially if:

  • it’s too casual or familiar, or unusually formal;
  • odd words are used together in sentences which are hard to understand;
  • there are spelling mistakes and missing full stops;
  • there are mistakes with capitals or other grammatical errors.
How do I know if a Visiting Officer is genuinely employed by TV Licensing?

When our officers visit a property they will:

  • Prove their identity by showing their two-part TV Licensing ID cards.
  • The first part of their ID card will display the TV Licensing logo, a passport sized photograph along with the Visiting Officer’s first name. The ID card will also show the expiry date along with their unique six-digit card number.
  • The second part of their ID is a separate card which contains the Officer’s photograph and name to indicate that this person is authorised to engage in TV Licensing investigations.
  • If you request it, the officer will provide you with our telephone number: 0300 790 6071. You can then call this number and have TV Licensing verify the Visiting Officer’s details by providing the Officer’s unique six-digit card number. The Customer Service advisor will guide you through the rest of the verification process.
Still not sure?

If you’d like more information about potential scam emails and how to spot them, you might find the following websites helpful:

If you have any doubts whether an email has come from us you can use our other contact details.

Find out more about text scams.

General information about TV Licensing is available in other languages: