Scam of the day – September 24, 2017 – New Netflix phishing scam

The popularity of Netflix makes it a preferred subject for phishing emails sent to people appearing to come from Netflix in which you are told you need to update your credit card information or asking for other personal information.  Reproduced below is a copy of an email presently being circulated.  It looks legitimate, but it is easy to counterfeit the Netflix logo and make the email appear to be legitimate when it is not.  Two things can happen if you click on the link in the email.  Either you will be directed to a phony but legitimate looking website where you will be prompted to input your credit card information and thereby turn it over to an identity thief or, even worse, merely by clicking on the link, you will download keystroke logging malware that can steal all of the information from your computer and use it to make you a victim of identity theft.

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TIPS

As I always say, “trust me, you can’t trust anyone.”  You can never be truly sure when you receive an email seeking personal information such as your credit card number whether or not the email is a scam.  The risk of clicking on a link or providing the requested information is just too high. Instead, if you think that the email might be legitimate, you should contact the company at a telephone number that you know is legitimate and find out whether or not the email was a scam.

Often telltale signs of a phishing email scam is when the email address of the sender is that of a private individual rather than the company purporting to be sending the email. This is due to the email being sent through a botnet of hijacked computers.  Poor grammar is another indication of a phishing email.  This often occurs because the scam may originate in a country where English is not the primary lanugage.

As for Netflix in particular, it will never ask in an email for any of your personal information so anytime you get an email purportedly from Netflix asking for your credit card number, Social Security number or any other personal information, it is a scam.  Here is a link to Netflix’s security page for information about staying secure in regard to your Netflix account.  https://help.netflix.com/en/node/13243

Scam of the day – January 16, 2017 – Another Netflix phishing scam

I have been warning you about phishing scams using Netflix as the hook for a couple of years.  The popularity of Netflix makes it a preferred subject for phishing emails that appear to come from Netflix in which you are told you need to update your credit card information or other personal information. Reproduced below is a copy of an email presently being circulated.  It looks legitimate, but it is easy to counterfeit the Netflix logo and make the email appear to be legitimate when it is not.  In this particular scam you are asked for personal information, such as your name, date of birth and address that can be used to make you a victim of identity theft.  In many of these scams you are also asked to verify credit card information which, if done, merely provides your credit card information to an identity thief.

The scam sends users an email, appearing to be from Netflix, which ask them to update their membership details. The email includes a link that shows a fake log-in page and asks them to input details such as payment information

TIPS

As I always say, “trust me, you can’t trust anyone.”  You can never be truly sure when you receive an email seeking personal information such as your credit card number whether or not the email is a scam.  The risk of clicking on a link or providing the requested information is just too high.  Instead, if you think that the email might be legitimate, you should contact the company at a telephone number that you know is legitimate and find out whether or not the email was a scam.

As for Netflix in particular, it will never ask in an email for any of your personal information so anytime you get an email purportedly from Netflix asking for your credit card number, Social Security number or any other personal information, it is a scam.

Scam of the day – March 10, 2014 – Netflix phishing scam

Phishing is the term for a scam where you are lured to a phony website and either induced into providing personal information to what you think is a legitimate company or even a government agency or persuaded to click on what appears to be a legitimate link only to learn that by clicking on the link, you unwittingly download keystroke logging malware that will steal all of the information from your computer, smartphone, tablet or other device.  In either situation, the end result is the same.  You end up a victim of identity theft.  Recently a phony, but very good looking copy of a Netflix website was found on the Internet.  The URL for the website did have the word “Netflix” in it, but it also had a number of apparently random characters also in the URL which to a careful viewer would have been a sufficient tip off that this is a scam.  On the website was a message to call an 800 support telephone number.  If you call the number, you are told that your Netflix account has been shut down because it had been illegally accessed by hackers.  You are then told to enable the “support” team to have access to your computer or other device in in order to remotely download necessary security software to protect your account in the future.  Instead of security software, what is installed remotely is a keystroke logging malware program that enables the scammers to steal all of the information from your device and use it to make you a victim of identity theft.  In addition, the support team also asks for a photo of the customer’s identification and a credit card, which is readily able to be done using the victim’s computer or phone camera, which was actually able to be enabled through software already downloaded unwittingly by the customer.  In closing, the phony support team tells the customer that the customer will be charged as much as $400 for the security update, however, in his or her case, they will offer a discounted rate.

TIPS

This particular scam is no longer being done.  The phony website has been taken down.  However, it is a typical type of phishing scam that you must take great care to avoid.  Identity thieves are quite adept at creating legitimate looking websites that appear to be those of legitimate companies or even governmental agencies.  Whenever you go to a website for a company or agency with which you do business, make sure that you have the correct URL.  Double check it.  In this case, a savvy consumer would also know that Netflix does not supply security software.  In any event, never provide personal information, click on links or download attachments unless you are absolutely sure that you are dealing with a legitimate company that has a real reason for your information.  Although this particular scam is now down, you can expect the same pattern to repeat itself time and time again.