Netflix scams are nothing new. Both subscribers and those who don’t even have a Netflix subscription have been targets. We’ve seen scams asking for login verification, one falsely offering free passes on social media, and another just flat out asking for your credit card number – just to name a few.
Recently, another scam has been making the rounds, once again trying to convince subscribers that there has been an issue with their payment and asking customers to update their billing information. What’s new is that this version of the scam email and the website a link in the email takes you to look more legitimate than many in the past.
In fact, after collecting your payment information at a fraudulent website, this one will redirect you back to the real Netflix site.
Cloud security provider Armorblox breaks down in a blog post why this scam is succeeding where others have failed. Some methods the email uses to appear legitimate include: a functioning CAPTCHA page, using legitimate domain names from random companies including an oil and gas company out of Texas to host Netflix lookalike sites and avoid email spam filters, messaging that creates a sense of urgency, and a very convincing landing page.
If you receive an email that looks suspicious, Netflix asks that you forward the email to email@example.com.
Here are some tips for identifying fake websites and scam emails.
- Check the domain name. Look for the official domain of the streaming service – for example, https://www.disneyplus.com or https://www.netflix.com.
- Look for spelling mistakes. Many fake websites will use a translator tool to generate content. When you see a block of text on the site, a quick scan will often show many spelling and grammar mistakes.
- Double check sender email addresses. When you receive an email from a streaming service, you’ll find an official email address from the company. Scam emails will come from an entirely different domain, often with a jumble of letters and numbers in the address.
- Don’t click questionable links. If you get an email alerting you that there has been a problem with your account, go to the official service website and log in to check your account. Don’t click links from a suspicious email.
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Jess Barnes attended Edinboro University and spent years working in nonprofit before taking up freelance writing in 2012. Jess has been working for Cord Cutters News since 2017.