Streaming services, like Netflix, have become a great hit through the years. This is not really surprising due to its convenience and the wide range of movies, tv shows, series, music, and just about anything else you can access through such services. The great demand for streaming services has bordered into some sort of dependence since the onset of the global pandemic. Even when theaters started opening and people could go out more freely, Netflix and other such services have stayed in great demand.
As great as streaming services like Netflix are, they do come with some downsides. We won’t go to great lengths about concerns on content and access of children, though. Instead, we’ll get into more details on the so-called Netflix scams that have been victimizing Netflix users for years.
Is Netflix Safe to Use?
So, is Netflix actually safe for its users? Or is it scamming them? Well, Netflix is not directly responsible for these so-called Netflix scams. Cybercriminals are simply taking advantage of the people’s reliance on the streaming services of Netflix in scamming users. Technically, there are no sites, online services, and similar platforms that are one hundred percent safe. Like most sites and service providers, however, Netflix has safety and security measures in place. With a conscious effort in being responsible users, such safety and security measures make Netflix perfectly safe to use.
Netflix Scams You Should Know About
If it is perfectly safe to use Netflix, then why do Netflix scams continue to exist? The simple answer to that is the fact that there are people who choose to make a living out of putting to the wrong use their knowledge and deftness in technology.
Netflix scams are mainly phishing scams done via SMS or email. These types of phishing scams are not exactly new. It’s very important to note here though that the Netflix scams that exist these days are far more sophisticated than the ones before them. In late July of 2020, the unusually sophisticated Netflix email scam was first reported.
Two years after the first sophisticated Netflix email scam was reported, users still fall victim to similar scams. Here are the two main things that make these latest round of Netflix scams more dangerous:
Unlike earlier versions of email phishing and smishing (SMS phishing), the latest phishing scam messages are no longer riddled with misspelled words and bad grammar. Moreover, while not an exact copy of legitimate messages from Netflix, the language and general tone are close enough for people not to take a second look.
- Circumvention of Anti-Phishing Measures
The sophistication of the latest Netflix scams lies mostly in their ability to circumvent anti-phishing measures. For instance, the link they put takes the unknowing victim into a functioning CAPTCHA page. This effectively shields the URLs of the actual phishing pages from the email service providers. At the same time, it lulls users into trusting the legitimacy of the email. The scammers have also been hiding their phishing pages on domains owned by legitimate websites which makes the phishing attack harder to detect.
How does Netflix Phishing Scam Work?
Here’s how Netflix phishing scams usually go:
- The message is sent out in bulk, via SMS or email, by the attacker claiming to be a Netflix representative. The email claims an error in processing the user’s recent payment and so there’s a need to update payment information immediately. A link is then provided where the users are supposed to update their information. Account suspension is usually used to prompt users into action.
- The link will then direct the victim to the phishing pages. Recent attacks direct users to a functioning CAPTCHA page first before eventually leading them to phishing pages.
- Details such as full name, home address, Netflix account information, and credit card details, are then harvested by the attackers. In some instances, users are directed to websites that host malware and/or potentially unwanted programs (PUPs).
How to Keep Yourself Safe From Netflix Scams?
Vigilance goes a long way in keeping Netflix scams at bay. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Remember the Phishing Scam Pattern
Like other phishing scams, Netflix scams follow the same pattern – impersonating an authority, institution, or legitimate company, creating urgency (deadline, losing out on something, fine, etc.), then providing a link to either supposedly fix the problem or avoid any problems.
- Check for Legitimacy
This covers everything from the email address, the content, the link, and anything else that can give you information on the sender. For instance, before entering your Netflix information, make sure that you are, in fact, on the legitimate Netflix website.
- Install AntiVirus
Antivirus software provides an additional layer of protection. Of course, not all phishing attacks would come across as malware or virus. Still, antivirus software can help protect your device and your sensitive information from being compromised.
- Avoid Providing Sensitive Information Online
It’s very unlikely that Netflix will ask you to provide personal and sensitive information via email or text. Also, avoid entering your details on websites unless you have double and even triple-checked their legitimacy. In case you’re worried about the urgent nature of the message you receive, you can always directly contact the supposed sender on legitimate contact channels that you have on them.
Phishing scams are unlikely to stop anytime soon. Attackers will always find a way to finesse their phishing strategies. Educate yourself on how Netflix scams and other various scams are carried out. More importantly, always be vigilant and responsible when going online.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why is Netflix asking me to update my payment information?
This could happen if you have recently signed up, changed your payment method, or retried a declined payment. An authorization request may be seen as a pending transaction on your statement. Beware, however, of emails or text messages asking you to verify your payment information. Always check for legitimacy first.
- How do I know if an email is real?
Some ways to check if an email is legitimate to include sending a message to the email address, searching the email address on Google or performing an IP Address lookup, and using an email checker.
- How do I report someone for phishing?
You can report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online or by phone at 1-877-382-4357. You should also notify any concerned and/or affected agencies, institutions, or service providers.
- What happens if I get scammed?
Scammers could use your stolen information to illegally access your bank account, blackmail you into sending them money, and other similar scenarios. If you do get scammed, immediately report it to the authorities. Notify your banks, change your passwords, and take any additional protective measures available.
Tiffany is a lead writer who has a passion for all of the latest use of technology. Tiffany has been writing and delivering the latest app reviews and news for ClickSearch. She is an unbelievable author and continues to produce must-read content.