Scammers are masquerading as Netflix in an attempt to steal your identity. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe.
1. A Fake Link to ‘Netflix’ Starts the Scam
The video above from Malwarebytes.org outlines this scam in great detail.
Here’s how the scam works, according to the Huffington Post. Users generally encounter the fake Netflix site after clicking a link in a phishing email, pop-up window, or ad.
After clicking the link, users are prompted to log in with their Netflix password. Next, the scammers tell the person that their account has been suspended due to suspicious activity. The fake Netflix site provides a phone number to call for more information. Once the scammers have you on the phone, they will prompt you to download some bogus “customer support software” that hijacks the data on your computer.
2. Scammers Using Netflix Trap Can Steal Your Identity
Crazy. This guy let hackers take control of his computer to protect you from a new Netflix phishing scam http://t.co/hWiQyCz9aj
— Rich DeMuro (@richdemuro) March 4, 2014
The perpetrators of this scam have not only been stealing data from people’s computers, but also asking people to send verification of their identity, such as scans of their photo IDs or credit cards. Once scammers have this data, it is very easy for them to steal your identity.
According to Malwarebytes.org, the scammers who are using the fake Netflix site are based in India.
3. The BBB Has Issued a Warning About the Netflix Scam
— FOX 32 News (@fox32news) March 10, 2014
The Better Business Bureau has issued a public warning about this scam. The BBB states:
“Few people fully understand the inner workings of a computer or how to recognize fraudulent activity even if it is right in front of their eyes. Many people are willing to trust anyone who claims to be a computer support specialist or professional, without asking any questions.
If you experience any of the components of this phishing attempt, immediately hang up the phone before you give these scammers any secure information. It is most likely that they will get away with at least your Netflix credentials so make sure to change your username and password immediately. If you use that same password for other websites, make sure to change those as well.”
4. Netflix Is Keeping Mum About the Scam
Somewhat surprisingly, Netflix appears to have done little to warn customers about the scam. The Netflix blog doesn’t seem to make any mention of the Netflix scammers, nor does the Netflix Twitter account. Atlanta’s Fox 5 news team also reached out to Netflix for a comment on the scam story, but received no comment.
5. It Is Simple to Avoid This Netflix Scam
Avoiding this scam is simple, as long as you are paying attention. Be careful what links you click, and don’t click on any links that strike you as suspicious. Before entering any of your login information on a site proclaiming to be affiliated with Netflix, check the URL in your browser window. The Netflix scammers are known to be operating from “netflix.afta3.com” which is not a real Netflix site.
Additionally, use common sense. Don’t install any software from third parties, and don’t fall for a scam that has you verify your identity by flashing your ID at a webcam. The only thing the real Netflix should be charging you for is your monthly subscription fee, and not any software support packages.
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