The more popular an app or service becomes, the more likely it is that scammers will try to use it to trick users. That’s certainly the case for Netflix, and if you’re not careful, you could be the next victim. This week, cybersecurity firm Kaspersky published a report about the growing number of scams that target users of streaming services like Netflix. It’s yet another reminder that we should all be on the lookout for signs of illegitimate offers and fake websites while browsing the internet.
These are the Netflix scams to watch for
As Kaspersky notes, streaming services aren’t free. If you want to watch the TV shows and movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Disney Plus, you’re going to have to pay. And in order to pay, you’re going to need to type in your credit card details. In an attempt to steal that information, scammers have created fake signup pages for popular streaming services such as Netflix.
As you can see in the picture below, fake websites are frequently fraught with mistakes. Take a good look at the webpage before you start entering your personal information. Sure, scammers are clever, but they almost always leave clues that should set off alarm bells when you see them:
It’s unlikely that you will fall for a fake signup page if you already have an active Netflix subscription. All that means is that scammers have to find another way to target you.
One way that they try to trick users with Netflix accounts is by sending them emails letting them know that their accounts will be on hold until they update their payment method. These emails prominently feature links to a fake payment confirmation page. If you fill out the form, you will give the scammers everything they need to hack your accounts and steal your money.
Even if you can avoid all of the fake emails and signup pages, you should still remain vigilant. As Kaspersky notes, there are countless sites that claim to offer streams of movies and shows from premium services for a cheaper price. Most of these are nothing more than scams, and if you do enter your payment information, don’t be surprised if a hacker drains your bank account.
How to avoid falling for fake streaming services
Kaspersky shared a list of helpful tips that you should follow to avoid being scammed online:
- Do not click links in e-mails, even if a message seems to be from a real streaming (or other) service; always go to the official website by entering the address manually or through the app;
- Do not trust any person or site promising viewings of movies or shows before the official premiere;
- Pay attention to red flags that warn of phishing e-mails or fake websites;
- Stay alert and read more about scams and phishing schemes to learn how to sense which e-mails and websites are trustworthy, and which you should avoid;
- Use different passwords for all accounts that you value, and use a password manager to remember them for you;
- Use a reliable security solution that identifies malicious attachments and blocks phishing websites.
To make matters worse, many of us do a truly awful job of picking strong passwords for our accounts. Scammers don’t have to trick you if they can simply guess your password and steal your account. Take a look at some of the worst passwords of 2021 and make sure you aren’t using any of them.