The Netflix scam is a phishing scam that targets subscribers to the streaming service and you got to protect yourself; It comes back with a vengeance during the quarantine.
Got an email that says your Netflix account details cannot be verified and your account will be suspended? Do not click on any link in it.
Instead, go directly to your Netflix account and log in normally to check the status of your account. If there is a problem, fix it.
This article explains what you need to know about the Netflix scam and provides tips to protect yourself.
How to know it is a Netflix Scam?
Receiving an email that appears to be a legitimate message from Netflix in your inbox, which mentions that your account details cannot be verified, and your account will be suspended if you do not update those account details immediately.
There will also be a link in the email that will take you to a phony web page where you will be asked for your personal details including your credit card details. It is important to know what this scam looks like to avoid being victimized.
How does netflix scam work?
Email usually begins with a worrying subject line. It will say something along the lines of “update payment method”.
Once you open the email you will get a very convincing Netflix logo and branding that makes the whole thing seem legitimate.
Inside the email you will get a message that says something like this:
We are having trouble validating your billing information. If you do not reply to this message within the next 48 hours then we will have to suspend your membership.
A link will usually be included in the email with a message like “update account”. Clicking on the link will take you to a reassuring page, which looks almost like the real thing. There, you will be asked to enter information, including your username, password, address, date of birth and credit card details, to update your payment details.
How do Netflix scammers find victims?
Netflix scammers typically send a bulk email to millions of addresses at the same time based on the prospects to get some legitimate Netflix subscribers.
Netflix itself tries its best to keep its subscriber list confidential, so it’s usually hard to have a bunch of emails that only belong to Netflix subscribers unless they are purchased on the dark web. However, if you send it to an email group that is from Netflix for a large group of emails, you are bound to get their percentage from Netflix subscribers, especially the streaming service’s large subscriber base.
Netflix is actually quite profitable for scammers. In the period of release of some popular shows, there is usually a lot of anticipation, and users are likely to respond quickly to any message, claiming that their accounts may be suspended. This particularly creates a success rate of trying to provoke such potential victims. This was tried earlier in 2019 when scammers managed to use the hype around the conclusion of Game of Thrones to allow some users to visit phishing sites and remove their credit card details and other personal information.
How to protect yourself from Netflix Scam?
You cannot completely protect yourself from receiving emails from unscrupulous people. With all the data leaks occurring at major companies, there is a possibility that your email address may fall into the hands of someone who wants to steal something from you, either your money or your identity.
However, you should be very careful about what you can do when you receive such an email. Whenever you get an email from a company that you have an account, here are some safety precautions you should take:
Confirm who the sender is: There is a down arrow next to the sender’s name. Choose to see if the email address really makes sense. If it does not seem like the email address that the alleged sender would use, then you are probably working with a scammer.
Watch for Typos: Emails from scammers are often so typo that it soon becomes apparent that no self-respecting company sends emails.
Do not select a link immediately in the email: instead, hover your cursor over the link. You will see the full URL on the lower-left corner of your browser screen. If this sounds suspicious, then you are probably working with a scammer. Do not click on the link.
If the email contains anything about your account details, don’t click on the link: Instead, go directly to your account by opening a new browser tab and going to the official website. Review your personal information and update it if necessary.
Watch out for pressure tactics to get you to act quickly: In the Netflix scam email, for example, they tell you that you must reply within 48 hours. This kind of strategy is designed to sideline your critical thinking faculty and motivate you to work without thinking.
I am already a victim; What should I do?
If you are already a victim of a scam, you will need to change your account details. Go directly to your Netflix account and change your password before the scammer has a chance to access your account.
In addition, report the scam and the resulting email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org at the FTC, and email@example.com via the Anti-Phishing Working Group.
Change your email password also. If you have given your credit card details, call your credit card provider immediately and report the crime so that your credit card can be locked immediately.
How do I avoid being targeted for a Netflix scam?
One of the best ways to protect yourself from the Netflix scam is to be aware of the red flags mentioned above.
Keep your personal and financial information safe and do not give this information to anyone. Change your password every three months and use a strong password. Provide your email address only to trusted sources. If you know that your email address has been compromised in any way, set up a new one.