Below is the image of a ‘dodgy’ email provided by a village resident in mid September 2019 and it’s worth having a look at some of the tell-tale signs that this is a spam email – see below for the clues and explanations.
My advice is always, if you think something is suspicious do not click any links, take a few minutes to check the source email address and look for other signs (see below). You can cross check with any paperwork you have from the stated organisation and independently use a search engine to research it.
1. This is a Direct debit request so the alarm bells should ring straight away. If you are not sure, check the direct debits you have set up with your bank, either on-line or using phone numbers you have been given by your bank (these can be found on your bank cards).
2. The email has a Belgian origin i.e. ‘be‘. You might ask yourself why an email with Belgian roots should be badgering you about your UK TV licence payments.
3. The date format used is US/ Asian style: mm/dd/yyyy where as the UK style is dd/mm/yyyy and is more often written in full rather than using numbers.
4. The spelling of license is another give-away as this is the US spelling. The UK spell it with a second ‘c’ i.e. licence.
5. The email is addressed to another email address rather than a named recipient which is very, very unusual if the message was genuine.
6. As the email is about a TV licence, a genuine message would include a reference to your licence number which is 10 digits long.
This information is provided by Phil Brown, Norfolk’s Data Protection Mardler whose company is registered under the Norfolk Against Scams Partnership scheme, have a look at www.datamardler.co.uk