Students who are beginning or returning to university this month are being urged to stay vigilant to ensure they are not left out of pocket.
The double warning comes following changes to TV licencing laws along with the threat of the so-called ‘seasonal rental fraud’.
Under new rules which came into force last week, those who download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer must have a television licence.
Previously, only viewers who were watching shows live (as they were being broadcast) needed a licence. That meant it was legal to watch content after broadcast via iPlayer without paying the annual fee. But now, viewers require a TV licence to download or watch almost all on-demand and catch-up programmes on iPlayer.
Students are being urged to ensure they have an up-to-date licence to ensure they don’t face the potential £1,000 maximum penalty.
Meanwhile, those heading off to university are also being warned about seasonal rental fraud, which comes as students search for accommodation before the start of the new term.
Fraudsters use a variety of websites to advertise available properties to rent, often at attractive rates and convenient locations.
Due to demand, students will often agree to pay upfront fees without viewing the property, only to discover that the fraudster posing as the landlord does not have ownership or there are already tenants living there.
Action Fraud is advising students to protect themselves by only using reputable letting companies, making an appointment to view the property in person and looking out for warning signs, such as landlords requesting a ‘holding deposit’ due to the property being in high demand.
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