While criminals are finding new ways to target consumers every day, there’s one online scam that Team Clark sees popping up again and again: the Netflix phishing email.
Fake Netflix email requests you to update your payment info
Here’s how it works: Netflix customers are getting emails asking them to update their payment information, including credit card number and other data. A link the email then sends users to a website that looks very similar to an official Netflix login page.
By creating fake emails and websites that look identical to the ones consumers are used to seeing, it’s easy for scammers to trick people into thinking they’re dealing with the legitimate companies they do business with.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shared a screenshot of a phishing email it received from Ohio police recently. The email says Netflix is “having some trouble with your current billing information” and invites the user to click on a link to update their payment method.
If you click on the email, any number of bad things can occur, including it routing you to a bogus site asking for your Social Security number, Netflix login credentials and more.
It could also download some ransomware on your computer, effectively locking you out and shutting down your system.
Netflix says that it will never ask for personal information — including payment information, Social Security number or account password — in an email. The streaming service has additional security tips webpage on its site.
More tips to avoid common email scams
Phishing is a way for criminals to carry out identity theft by using fake websites, emails and robocalls to try and steal your personal information.
Here are a few ways to avoid these types of scams:
- When it comes to spotting potentially-dangerous websites, before you go to an unknown site, double-check the spelling of the web address/URL by first doing a search for it. The site could be a fake scam site, and in some cases, criminals have created fake sites by using common misspellings of popular websites.
- If you receive an email claiming to be from your bank or other company that has your personal information, don’t click on any of the links. It could be a scam. Instead, log in to your account separately in a new window to check for any new notices. You can also call the company directly to ask about the information sent via email.
- Don’t click on any links in an email you weren’t expecting. Do a search about whatever the sender claims to want or be offering you to make sure it’s legitimate. If you aren’t sure, do a search for the company and then call them directly.