In a paradigm of electronic systems getting constantly better at defenses, cybercriminals are looking for easier ways of compromise than ‘classic’ malware injection. In this context, phishing attacks come to the fore as they zero in on humans rather than computers. The Netflix email scam is a prime example of such a modern exploitation vector. This article will describe the hoax in detail.
What is the Netflix email scam?
What are the ingredients of a successful phishing meal? What you need is a popular web service, a customer using it, a website that mimics the original login page, and some cyber ‘spices’ in the form of persuasive wording in an email message. Although it all appears somewhat oversimplified, most online swindlers follow this exact logic to wheedle out sensitive information. This is also the case with the Netflix email scam, where malefactors are trying to get hold of people’s account authentication details. As a matter of fact, there are quite a few types of hoaxes zeroing on Netflix customers, and they have been in circulation for years. In the latest campaign, fraudsters who impersonate the media company’s employees are sending out “Start watching today” emails offering assistance to new members in getting started with the service.
To make the message look quite trustworthy, the crooks suggest that the recipient call the faux support with any questions. Plus, they even provide a link that actually leads to the genuine Netflix help center. There is a big catch in this whole story, though. The victim is instructed to click another link to “finish their account setup”. If the user gets on the hook, they will end up on a fake login page asking for their username and password. Obviously, once these details are entered in there, they instantly go to the malefactors who will henceforth be able to access the person’s account and all the sensitive data it contains. Unlike many other phishing attempts, this one is competently crafted. The text doesn’t include any typos or any suchlike inaccuracies, and the style seems genuine due to the right logo and a few links that actually point to valid Netflix resources.
One more technique fired at users comes down to emails that urge the recipient to unlock their account, which is claimed to have been suspended because of recent security issues. Therefore, to continue their membership, the victim is requested to update account information, including personal details and billing data. To make the message appear scarier and impose additional pressure, the swindlers who ironically introduce themselves as “Your friends at Netflix” emphasize that failing to refresh the data will lead to termination of the account. Again, the user is told to click a link that will supposedly take them to the appropriate page for updating their profile. Of course, the resulting site is a fake that may look very much like the authentic account login form, but the non-Netflix URL in all such scenarios is a giveaway.
In some cases, the villains will try to dupe the user into thinking that their account is on hold because a recent payment couldn’t be processed due to billing problems. To sort out the purported troubles, the user is prompted to retry the payment. It’s not hard to guess that the page where the person is supposed to repeatedly enter their credit card data and other payment info has nothing to do with Netflix. All in all, these scams are becoming harder to identify from the get-go, so a little bit of extra caution will play into users’ hands in such cases.
One more aspect of the issue is that the links embedded in the phishing emails may trigger drive-by malware downloads in the background. It is therefore a good idea to make sure that the computer hasn’t been surreptitiously infected with such threats. While this is an important precaution, the rule of thumb is to ignore dubious emails claiming to be from Netflix and asking for personal information. The company already has its customers’ data and won’t request it. If you aren’t certain whether or not the email is a scam, it makes sense giving the official Netflix support a phone call and describing the suspicious situation just to clarify things before taking any other action.
Check your PC for viruses associated with the Netflix email scam
The extermination of malicious entities that may accompany the Netflix phishing scam can be efficiently accomplished with reliable security software. Sticking to the automatic cleanup technique ensures that all components of the infection get thoroughly wiped out from your system.
1. Download recommended security utility and get your PC checked for malicious objects by selecting the Start Computer Scan option
2. The scan will come up with a list of detected items, if any. Click Fix Threats to get the malware removed from your system.