Hampshire Trading Standards would like to remind residents to remain alert to scams. Although not new, we are seeing an increase in email and text (SMS) message scams relating to TV licensing and Netflix. Residents should be aware that other TV companies, such as Disney+, Amazon Prime and similar, are also used by scammers.
TV Licensing: There are several, well designed emails that purport to be from TV Licensing and claim that the licence fee is due, or that a payment did not go through. 'TV Licensing' is a trade mark of the BBC and is used under licence by companies contracted by the BBC to administer the collection of the television licence fee and enforcement of the television licensing system.
TV Licensing will only contact customers using the address ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. Emails will always be personally addressed; for example, they will never use ‘Dear Customer’, or the clients own email address.
TV Licensing will never unprompted:
- Email you to tell you that you are entitled to a refund
- Email you asking for payment
- Offer you a discounted TV Licence
- Ask for your card details to take a missed payment
- Ask your mother’s maiden name
- Ask your date of birth
Further details on TV Licensing.
Netflix: Bogus emails and text (SMS) messages purporting to come from Netflix often request information such as a username, password, or payment method. They are made to look like they come from Netflix, and some are quite convincing. Many are intended to worry the recipient into responding, perhaps by telling them there is suspicious activity on their account, that they are due a refund, or maybe need to make a payment to prevent their account closing. There will always be a link and a direction to click on the link
By clicking on the link, residents may be taken to a cloned website where they will be encouraged to sign into their accounts and reveal private information/passwords. This can then give scammers access to their account, and the information can be used for identity theft.
Netflix will never contact residents by email or Text (SMS) to:
- Ask for personal information
- Ask for a Credit/Debit card number
- Ask for bank account details
- Ask for a password change or for a password to be revealed
- Request payments via a 3rd party vendor or website
If you have opened a link or provided personal information you should:
- Change your Netflix password to a new, strong and unique one
- Update your password on any websites where you use the same email and password combination
- Contact your financial institution if you entered any payment information, as it may have been compromised
- Forward the message to
Further information on Netflix scams.
How to spot a scam email or message
Scammers will try to hide their identity. When an unexpected email or message is received, hover over the sender address with the mouse or by touch and hold (but don’t click or tap). This will reveal the sender email details on your screen. Very often this will be a Hotmail, Yahoo or other address not connected with the company the communication purports to be from.
Check for the suffix at the end of the address. For example; .jp = Japan, .cn = China, .gh = Ghana, and so on. This may give you a clue as to the sender’s origin and confirm that the communication is a scam.
Any links in the emails are likely to take you to a cloned site. Hover over the link with the mouse or by touch and hold (but don't click or tap) and it will reveal the location. Most likely it will be totally different to the company the email or message claims to be from.
If you are concerned, do not use links in emails or messages. Always come out of the communication, and go to your account though your own browser or via an App.
Scam emails can be reported to Action Fraud or on 0300 123 2040. If card or bank details have been revealed, then speak to your financial institution immediately.
To inform Trading Standards about scams or to seek advice, contact our partners at the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133 or via the Citizens Advice web site.