Scam emails and false notifications that can steal your personal details are pretty widespread and frequent now. In this day and age, when the Internet is widely used for almost everything, your personal information is more at risk than ever. Think about it: you use your name, phone number, birth date, email ID, credit card information, and even your home address across a host of websites and services online— all of which could easily become a major threat to you and your family or friends if your data was hacked into and subsequently leaked.
As you probably know, and maybe even have first-hand experience of, that no company, however reputable, is immune to the exploits of such scammers. Phishing emails and text messages have been received by subscribed users of companies like Apple, Amazon, gaming websites and so many more. Naturally, receiving such communication creates confusion and worry amongst the users. If you too have gotten such suspicious emails recently or in the past, then do not worry, for we have put together everything that you need to know about such scams and also how you should go about dealing with them now and in the future too. Stay vigilant and protect yourself from the latest Netflix phishing e-mail with our tips below.
What is phishing?
Simply put, phishing is the way by which scammers and hackers try to get a hold of your personal data including but not limited to your identity, location, finances, etc, This can happen through email, text message, cold calling over phones, etc. This is a criminal attempt and it is absolutely essential that you report any such instances as soon as possible to the company or people that the scammers might be impersonating.
What is a phishing email?
Of all the ways that cybercriminals use to attempt to extort unsuspecting targets like vishing, whaling, SEO trojans, or smishing, email is the oldest and the most common method. These can be both, pretty amateurish and easy to spot ones, or highly advanced, polished emails that look like the real deal. They will often also have links that the email will redirect you to webpages in order to extract your personal data, so look out for that too.
The phishing emails are sent in bulk to all the addresses that the scammer can acquire and are usually regulated by bots. Their claims are varied too— some emails might claim that your account has certain issues that need to be addressed, or that your subscription plans need attention while others might even resort to extreme claims bordering on blackmail by saying that they have illicit information about you. All these are categorized as phishing mail, and can quickly become dangerous to unsuspecting people.
What is the Netflix phishing scam?
Most recently, there have been numerous reports of such a series of email phishing scams being run using the banner of the Netflix brand and targeting their wide customer base. These emails have a few different formats, but they all use the brand logo to make the emails seem authentic. Some customers received an email, where posing as the customer support team, the scammers asked them to update their account details using a given link. Yet other emails claimed that the accounts would be suspended if the payment details were not updated within a day.
The links included in the emails led to a verification CAPTCHA webpage and subsequently opened up a login page that was identical to the official Netflix one. When the unsuspecting customer filled up all the details in the given form and submitted it, their data (including personal and financial details) would become available to the hackers, thus opening them up to immense risk.
How to spot a Netflix phishing email?
There are a lot of ways to spot a fake, phishing email from Netflix. Here are a couple of things that you should look out for:
1. Sender’s Address
The first thing that you should check is the sender’s email address and compare it to one of your previous customer support mailers or newsletters from the company for any discrepancies. If there are any, then that might be your first warning sign.
2. Opening Salutation
The opening salutation in all Netflix emails follows the format of a formal greeting that includes your name, like “Hello Michael”. In scam emails, the greeting is usually generic and the tone is very informal. So if you notice an email from Netflix that addresses you as “Hello Dear”, then in all probability, it is a scam.
The language of phishing emails is also very inconsistent. Some parts sound very formal like in the reporting of the “problem”, whereas others seem to be more informal. The payment verification portal also shows similar discrepancies in language that can be easily noted. Also look out for punctuation, grammatical and formatting mistakes, since official mails will never have those.
4. Sense of Urgency
The most telling feature of a scam email is the sense of urgency that comes through regarding the payment deadline. If you notice anything of the sort, refrain from opening any provided links.
4. Antivirus Alert
If you get antivirus alerts while opening the link included in the mail, then it is best to close that particular webpage, because the verification CAPTCHA can also be a ruse meant to reassure unwitting targets.
What to do if you get a Netflix phishing email?
If you suspect that you have been targeted with a Netflix phishing email, then stay cautious and do not open any links or reply to the email. Do not provide any personal details or make payments. Take screenshots of the email, contact Netflix customer support via phone or mail immediately, and report the issue.
The biggest thing is to be aware of such scams and keep up with the news regarding such matters. Remember that spam filters aren’t always 100% effective and data breaches can happen very quickly without you even realizing the fact of what has taken place. Stay vigilant about the kinds of communications that you receive from your subscriptions, and in case there is something suspicious happening, simply call the concerned customer care service to report the issue, and you’ll be just fine.