Netflix is the most popular streaming service in the U.S., and its users are common targets for scammers. As WILX reports, there's a new phishing scam going around that promises victims a free one-year subscription to the service.
Unlike some Netflix phishing scams that have been a problem in the past, this one is conducted through text rather than email. The Better Business Bureau has reported an increase in fraudulent text messages enticing people to claim their free year of streaming through Netflix. The message reads: "Due to the pandemic, Netflix is offering everyone a free year of service to help you stay at home. Click the link to sign up."
If you received the text above, it didn't come from Netflix. The company's last free trial promotion ended in October 2020 and they currently aren't offering any deals like the one described above. Phishers are counting on most users to not know this. The link in the text leads to a form asking visitors to fill out personal and payment information. Once you hand that data over, scammers can use it to steal your money and your identity.
The best way to handle this scam if it lands in your messages is to ignore it. When in doubt about a message's authenticity, always contact the company in question directly. If the text—or email, or phone call—is legitimate, customer service should be able to confirm that for you. (As an FYI, official Netflix emails are generally sent from email@example.com.)
Here are more ways to protect yourself from phishing scams.