Beware the email scam that is targeting Netflix subscribers
According to a TV station in Indiana, Netflix users are being targeted with an email scam. The subscribers get a message in their email box that appears to be an official email from the live streaming service claiming that there is a problem with payment. The recipient is invited to click on a link that will take one to a page where he or she can reenter their payment information. By doing this, the recipient of the email is giving hackers their financial information that they will then use to steal their identity and drain their bank accounts of money.
While the email has the Netflix logo and a copyright, its message has at least one misspelling. So far the scam has been reported only in Great Britain, but the Internet being as widespread as it is, it is likely to appear beyond the borders of the UK.
Sharp-eyed subscribers who noted that the email was a scam took to Twitter to warn others, even posting screen shots of the fraudulent email. Netflix has released a statement warning its customers of the scam and reassuring one and all that it takes the security of its subscribers very seriously.
Unfortunately, the Internet is filled with these types of scams, called phishing, that entice people to reveal their personal and financial information. Criminals can send out hundreds of thousands or even millions of emails from dummy sources. Enough people will fall for the scan to make the enterprise profitable. The scammers often live in countries that lack extradition treaties and are hard to track down and catch, in any case.
A good rule of thumb when receiving one of these emails is to not click on any links or download anything unless you are absolutely sure that it comes from a source you trust. Most reputable companies will not require that you link into anything from an email, but rather will direct you to the appropriate part of their regular website.
Most companies, such as Netflix, have ways to report email scams that are being undertaken under their name and brand. The United States government has a page that gives out more information on the sort of scams that are being conducted as well as places in the federal bureaucracy where you can report them. You should also report the attempted fraud to your local police department and to the regulators in the state you reside in.