Netflix Binge Watching Is Great, But You Have To Be Smart Enough Not To Fall Prey To Phishing Attempts!

There have been recent instances of people falling prey to phishing scams that direct users to a fake Netflix website to steal confidential credit card information. It is advisable to follow some simple tips and be vigilant so that you don’t end up becoming a victim of such malicious attempts by phishers.

  • In these times of lockdown, Netflix is one of the best companions you can have.
  • Beware of Netflix phishing scams doing rounds on the internet.
  • Never share your credit card or any banking details without confirming the source of the email.

With many countries like Australia, Spain, and India announcing lockdowns to arrest the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have flocked to Netflix in a big way. Netflix and other video apps like Amazon Prime have seen a tremendous surge in their memberships. As more people pay their subscriptions online, it has given cybercriminals a free hand to scam people into parting with confidential financial data.

The Scam

Recently, a phishing scam targeting Netflix users has been uncovered. Cybersecurity experts have decoded the modus operandi of these malicious actors. The scammers collect Netflix customers’ details and send them targeted emails that could pass off as authentic emails from Netflix Support. The email message generally informs the users that there are issues with the billing details and asks them to click on a specific link provided in the email to ensure continuous connectivity. It further states that the failure to do so could result in the termination or pausing of their subscription.

The Outcome

Netflix binge-watchers would not like to be a minute away from their Netflix content. Hence, they could unsuspectingly click on the spurious link that directs them to a website strikingly resembling the Netflix streaming platform. Upon entering the credentials, it asks for financial information like credit card details and billing information. Once they enter this data, the scammers redirect these Netflix users to the original Netflix website. As a result, unsuspecting victims do not even realize that they have been properly scammed.

Why Is This Phishing Attack Different?

Usually, phishing attacks are hit-and-run kind of attacks targeting an extensive section of people. However, this specific scam is different because it targets specific Netflix users alone.

The email title reads something like “Notification of Verification Failure,” or words to that effect. Generally, this email tone might not match precisely with what Netflix uses to communicate with its customers. However, binge-watchers in their anxiety could end up assuming that Netflix has indeed sent the message.

The email language and the punitive nature of the tone can trigger an immediate response from the user. No Netflix user would like to see his/her subscription terminated for such reasons. They usually feel there is no harm in updating data, especially when they are not parting with any money instantly. The criminals have done their homework well because they have also included a captcha confirmation stage to make it look authentic.

The Aftermath

The Netflix user does not lose any money immediately. However, the credit card information (card number, expiry date, and CVV number) are now available in the wrong hands. It will not take time for these malicious actors to use these cards online and siphon off money.

How To Detect This Scam?

Generally, Netflix does not ask for such information from its users. It already has your credit card data in an encrypted form. The phishing website looks legitimate, but clicking on the “Need Help” or “Sign Up” options reloads the page. Secondly, hovering the mouse over the malicious link shows that the URL is axxisgeo.com instead of Netflix.com. It is an obvious giveaway.  

Final Thoughts

Cyber thieves are always on the prowl scouting for one prey or the other. A little awareness on your part can help you prevent becoming a victim of such a scam. It is a new scam, and many people are not aware of it. If you have parted with your confidential data by chance, the best solution is to contact your bank and block the credit card. The moral of the story is, “Binge watch Netflix, but be smart at the same time.”

About Author

Padmanabhan Srinivasan

Padmanabhan Srinivasan loves people to call him Paddy. Paddy, a passionate social media communicator, has completed his Masters in Engineering Management (Telecommunications) from La Trobe University, Bundoora, Melbourne. An engineer by choice, Paddy loves to wear his social media identity on his sleeve. He loves to write on various issues on social media, aiming to create awareness among people to be vigilant against cybercrimes. A photographer at heart, Paddy’s passion is to post exciting photos on Instagram and other channels. In his spare time, Paddy also loves to write film reviews on Facebook and other social media.

           

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