For a long time I have warned you that the popularity of Netflix makes it a preferred subject for phishing emails and phishing text messages, which are referred to as smishing. Smishing is the name given to text messages that lure you into clicking on links or providing personal information in response to a text message from what appears to be a trusted source, such as a company with which you do business. Smishing scams are increasing in frequency. Earlier this year I told you about a smishing text message that appeared to come from Netflix that lured people into clicking on a link that took them to a phony, but legitimate appearing Netflix page that asked for your Netflix username, password and credit card number. If you supplied this information, you became a victim of identity theft.
With the social isolation that has become the hallmark of the Coronavirus pandemic, many of us, myself included, have been watching a lot of Netflix programming and this has increased the motivation of scammers to set up many phony Netflix websites to which they lure people through emails and text messages to go to under the guise of a variety of phony reasons, such as needing to update your information or confirm information. Of course, the real purpose of these phony Netflix websites and the phishing emails and text messages sent to you is to lure you into going to these phony Netflix websites to trick you into providing your credit card information.
Just recently, however, some sophisticated scammers have started sending out phishing emails purportedly from Netflix Support that have been able to bypass many email spam filters and has proven to be quite convincing in luring unsuspecting victims into providing their credit card numbers. “Notice of Verification Failure” appears in the subject line of the email and you are informed in the email that there is a problem with your billing and that you need to confirm your information within 24 hours in order to prevent your account from being terminated. One particular element of the scam that makes it appear legitimate is the use of a fully functioning CAPTCHA page used by many legitimate websites to screen out robots. In this case once the victim has correctly filled in the CAPTCHA information, he or she is taken to a legitimate appearing, but phony Netflix website that will attempt to get you to provide your login credentials, billing address information and, most importantly, your credit card information.
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 or text message was a scam. In this particular scam, a strong indication that this is a scam is that the URL of the page you are taken to is not Netflix.com, but rather axxisgeo.com which has nothing to do with Netflix.
Netflix will never ask in an email or text message for any of your personal information so anytime you get an email or text message 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
For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.” Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.
If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”