Watch Out for These New Netflix Phishing Scams

With so much of our lives now digital, phishing scams are unfortunately a common threat, but while many are familiar with email phishing schemes that aim to scam you out of your hard-earned money, the popularity of streaming services such as Netflix has also attracted scammers. Now, with the holiday season in full swing and plenty of exciting new content available online – as well as potentially new devices to stream said content on if you happen to be on Santa's nice list – here are some phishing scams you'll want to watch out for (via Kaspersky).

The first scam you'll want to watch out for is at the subscription stage of your streaming journey. After all, when you sign up for a new streaming service you have to give over a lot of sensitive information, such as your email address and a form of payment. Criminals can cause a lot of damage with that information and so, some have created some very convincing-looking fake signup pages that, when you enter your information, the criminals get your money and your personal information and you get nothing but a headache. Fortunately, there are usually (though not always) some clear errors or discrepancies on these false signup pages, such as misspelled words, incorrect grammar, or even odd URLs to tip you off.

While the fake subscription page could potentially create issues for new users, scammers have techniques to go after existing subscribers as well. A common scam is an email asking you to update your payment information. The scam will generally include some sort of message about how payment isn't going through and therefore the account is at risk or even will claim that the account is on hold until the update is made. A link is provided to make said update, but don't click anything. This is another instance where a careful examination is your friend. Firstly, the email likely doesn't come from the correct domain for the streaming service, but there are also likely errors in spelling or grammar in the body of the email as well. Careful reading and catching of these issues at the email stage is critical as clicking on the link often takes you to a form that may look pretty authentic. Your best bet in this situation is to just go to your account directly – not through any links sent in email – and verify for yourself what is really going on.

There are also a couple of other ways scammers can create major problems for users when it comes to streaming accounts. Kaspersky also notes the use of fake "new episodes" of popular shows on fake websites to lure people into purchasing subscriptions only for those subscriptions to simply not exist as well as the ever-growing issue of hijacked accounts in which cyber criminals sell your login information on the dark web which means you might find yourself unable to get into your own account due to other people using it.

As for how to avoid these scams, there is some fairly straightforward advice. Never click links in emails – always go to the official website or app, look for red flags/issues in emails or websites that might tip-off that they're fake, and use different passwords for your accounts are all good places to start. Also, be sure to keep your browser and settings up to date to help deal with the latest security threats. It may take a little bit of extra time, but making sure your streaming account is secure, ultimately means more time to relax and watch the latest viral show or movie and that seems like a fair trade to us.

What do you think about these phishing scams and tips for how to avoid them? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.