Remember the days when cable TV was something people would steal? For example, a bad neighbor might split your line without your knowledge and then run it into their house for their own enjoyment. It was, in fact, illegal and it could lead to hefty fines and even jail time.
Old school cable theft was limited by geography, of course, and it was relatively easy to spot.
But now, with the advent of streaming services, ZIP codes do not matter anymore. Someone could be hundreds of miles away and they might still be mooching off your video services without your authorization.
And what if the moocher is someone you barely know? And even worse, what if the thief is calling you cheap for not keeping up with your Netflix bills?
"Have you paid your Netflix account?"
A Redditor who goes by the name The_Duff was quite furious after finding out that his ex-girlfriend's friend (yep, ex-girlfriend's friend) has been mooching off his Netflix account for over two years.
How did he find out? Well, the girl had the audacity to message him in WhatsApp and ask him if he has paid his recent Netflix bill.
And get this, he didn't even have her number saved in his contact list since she was probably just a casual acquaintance. So imagine the surprise he got when, out of the bluest of blues, some "stranger" was demanding that he straighten out his video streaming bills.
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"Have you paid your Netflix account," the initial message read.
"Who is this? I don't have your number saved," he replied.
"It's XXXXX. Can you pay it tonight?"
"I haven't spoken to you in years. How do you have my Netflix details," he asked.
She explained that his ex gave her his Netflix password when they were still dating a few years back.
"XXXXX gave me it when you 2 were seeing," she explained.
So as any reasonable person would do when confronted by an unauthorized Netflix moocher, he changed his account password immediately.
"You have got to be (expletive) kidding," he retorted. "I'll be changing my password right away."
But imagine his shock when the moocher started calling him "cheap" for not letting her use his Netflix account anymore.
"Whatever you can't even afford the £10 haha," she wrote tauntingly.
It turns out, his Netflix account was suspended because he changed banks and his Netflix payment option was still set to his old, now-closed bank account.
But apparently, this technical miscue went over the bold Netflix freeloader's head.
"It's not letting me log in now. Just pay it," she demanded.
"I have," he replied. "But you won't be able to use it without the new password."
Unfazed, she replied, "What difference does it make if u paying for it anyway. I have nothing to do tonight how and really want to watch Netflix (angry face emoji)."
To this, he finally angrily exclaimed, "Then pay your (expletive) own!! Done with this now.. blocked!"
But she wasn't done. No, sir, she had to get the final word. "XXXXX was too good for you Cheap (expletive)," she finally remarked.
The_Duff just shrugged off this final barb and simply capped the whole thread with a laughing Steve Carrell GIF. (Who wouldn't?)
Not surprisingly, his fellow Redditors were all disgusted with his "friend's" behavior.
"That deep-rooted level of entitlement never ceases to amaze and infuriate me," one wrote.
"Seriously... some people have no shame," another posted.
This Reddit thread has amassed over 86,000 upvotes and almost 3,000 comments right now. If you want to get a general idea of how people feel about shameless Netflix moochers, check out the entire Reddit post here.
Can your Netflix account be shared?
Yes, although Netflix discourages it, there's no stopping you from sharing your username and password with your family and friends at this time.
However, depending on your plan, you have a limited number of simultaneous streams. Additionally, you can only have a maximum of five profiles per account.
But there are many instances where someone could be taking advantage of your Netflix account without your knowledge.
You may have logged in to Netflix at a friend's house without logging off. Or a family member may have shared it with one of their friends, or even worse, like what happened to this guy, an ex-flame gave it away to an acquaintance.
Chances are if you're all willy-nilly with your Netflix account (a very bad idea), it's bound to end up with someone you have not authorized.
How to kick out unauthorized Netflix moochers
Constantly check your Netflix account for unauthorized activity - movies on your Netflix profile that you don't remember streaming or additional profiles that you haven't created.
To check for unauthorized access, you want to log into your account via web browser. Then go to your "Account." Scroll down and select "Viewing Activity." Next, look for "See recent account access" and click it.
This will bring you to a page that has all your login history and devices that are accessing your account. You can look at IP addresses if you want to see if different ones are logged in. But sometimes it's easier to start looking at devices.
You know what devices you use to watch Netflix. If you see an odd one, someone else could be using your login! If you find something odd, change your password immediately.
If you want to be fairly certain that you're not logged in to an unauthorized device, one nuclear option is Netflix's "Sign out of all devices" tool.
To kick off all the gadgets that are using your Netflix account (this means you'll have to log in again), go to your account settings again via web browser. Scroll down until you see "Sign out of all devices." Tap or click on it then select "Sign Out" to confirm.
Note: Remembering all your passwords and PIN codes for your accounts can be tough. Our sponsor F-Secure TOTAL is a complete cybersecurity package that includes password protection. Store all your important credentials in one secure password manager and use them faster and easier to log into your favorite services or pay securely online. Just visit F-Secure.com/Kim.
Is your Netflix account for sale on the Dark Web?
Everyone wants to find a great deal. That's why hackers are now using phishing emails and fake sites to get users' Netflix login details. And, you'll be shocked to hear what they do with your login once they have it.