Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Coronavirus scam: Netflix is not giving away any ‘free passes’

Updated Mar 24th, 2020 12:21PM EDT
Coronavirus scam
Image: XanderSt/Shutterstock

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

  • Coronavirus scams continue to pop up every day, and the latest targets Netflix.
  • Some Twitter users have reported that they have received messages for Netflix “free passes” during the period of isolation that many of us are currently coping with.
  • Netflix has confirmed this is a scam, and says that there is no ongoing promotion related to coronavirus.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

As the novel coronavirus pandemic forces cities, states, and entire countries to shut down, streaming has become the pastime of choice for millions of people all over the world. Whether you’re working from home or unable to work at all due to the virus, chances are that you’ve taken advantage of a free streaming service trial or two in order to kill some time while you wait for the world to go back to normal in the coming weeks.

In fact, a few services have even introduced promotions for new customers in light of the current crisis, but if you get a text or see a message on social media about a free pass for Netflix, avoid it at all costs.

Many of us have become experts at spotting scams over the years, whether the scammers try to get us through texts, emails, phone calls, or viral tweets and Facebook posts. But every once in awhile, even the most careful user falters and clicks a bad link or opens an email they shouldn’t have. So before you become a victim of the latest coronavirus scam, know that Netflix is not offering any sort of promotion related to the viral pandemic.

After reports began to circulate on Monday from Twitter users who claimed they received messages about free Netflix passes, a spokesperson for Netflix reached out to Business Insider and confirmed that there is no promotion running at the moment. If you’ve never used Netflix before, you will get a free month of service when you sign up for the first time, but this has nothing to do with the virus and won’t be advertised to you in a text message.

This is the message at least one person received containing a phishing link (that we have not included):

Due to the CoronaVirus pandemic worldwide, @netflix is ​giving free passes for their platform during the period of isolation. Run on the site cause it will end quick!

The broken English is a fairly obvious red flag, but if I don’t have Netflix or a friend who will share their account and I see this link while mindlessly scrolling on Twitter, I might click it without thinking. But now you know that it’s fake and that no one is offering you a free Netflix subscription, including Netflix itself. If you want to stream Stranger Things or Narcos, you’re going to have to get an account the old-fashioned way.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.