Netflix users across the world have been warned about a new scam that’s spreading across the site.
Users are being sent emails that appear to be from Netflix, but are in fact from scammers. And once they’re opened, the damage spreads quickly.
The emails are a classic example of phishing attacks: messages that look official and encourage people to enter personal information and other useful details. But since the links and the sites are fake, those details are actually sent to scammers who want to use them for malicious purposes.
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This time around, they claim that accounts are being deactivated and that people need to go back on the website and hand over their payment and account details. But the accounts are fine, and those details will be stolen and used for more scams.
“Phishers will go to great lengths to try to take over your account or steal your personal information,” Netflix’s site warns. “They may create fake websites that look like Netflix, or send emails that imitate us and ask you for personal information.”
It makes clear that it will never ask for payment details, identification numbers or passwords over email. It makes clear that it might sometimes email its users to tell them to update that information on the website – if it is hacked and people need to change their passwords, for instance, or if your credit card goes out of date – but that you should check that the link is actually to a Netflix.com address if it does.
Such scams tend to focus on highly used services – like Netflix, along with iCloud or Facebook – and send emails that appear to have come from the company itself. But in fact in all cases the link will be fake, and clicking through will lead to an identical but malicious version of the website.
Netflix is especially concerning because the logins are valuable not just as ways of getting people’s information. Since Netflix logins can be used by a number of people, they’re often traded online – and stolen Netflix accounts, as well as those for other subscription services, are one of the most easily available and valuable things sold on the dark web.
In all cases, the advice is the same: if you are sent an email by a service you use that wants you to enter some information, make sure you do it by heading to the website yourself. And if you’ve any concerns that you’re being tricked, get in touch with the company – using contact details listed on its website – and ask.
If you think you’ve already been tricked by such scams, then there’s a range of ways to make yourself safer. Change your passwords, for instance, and keep an eye on any activity on your accounts. It might also be helpful to let the company itself know, so they can provide advice and stop it from happening in the future.
You can see if anyone is using your Netflix account by heading to the viewing activity page. That will show you everything anyone has watched on your account, and on what profile, and you can also use Netflix’s settings to see every time someone has logged in and where they did so.