40,000 viewers urged to check bank statements

September 12th 2018

TV Licensing – the organisation which informs UK viewers of the need to buy a TV licence, holds the database of licensed and unlicensed address and controls licence enforcement – has warned some customers that their data may have been compromised.

A statement on the organisation’s website reports that an issue with the website followed a technical update, and that some transactions carried out from 29 August until around 3.20pm on 5 September 2018 were “not as secure as they should have been”. The statement includes information on what the issue may mean for customers, and what is being done by way of resolution.

Despite some media reporting that a breach has taken place, TV Licensing claims that there is no evidence that the website was subject to any sort of attack. It goes on to say that the issue did not affect debit and credit card details but may have affected customers’ personal details such as name, address and email or, if bank details were entered, the sort code and account number, as this information was not encrypted when it was transmitted from the customer’s computer.

The statement includes the following apology: “We took the website offline and fixed it. We’re really sorry this happened but want to assure you that the risk to you is low and we’ve taken action to ensure it doesn’t happen again”.

TV Licensing has now emailed the 40,000 people who entered bank account and sort code details telling them to check their bank accounts for suspicious transactions and to make sure direct debits have not been amended.

Get Safe Online advice

If you are one of the 40,000 customers affected, we strongly advise you to cancel any direct debit you have with TV Licensing and set up a new one by calling them. Change the password you use with TV Licensing, and if you have used the same password on other websites or accounts, change these also. You should use different passwords on all your online accounts to increase security: please see our advice on choosing and using secure passwords.



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