If you thought a global pandemic would stop cybercriminals in their tracks, think again. The dregs of society haven’t cut back on their devious schemes at all.
In fact, they’ve ramped up attacks by incorporating COVID-19 into many of their scams. Tap or click here for details on the latest coronavirus-related scams.
While scammers have plenty of new plot twists to work with, we still need to be on the lookout for the oldies but goodies. A perfect example is the latest phishing attack that targets millions of Americans who are using a popular streaming service.
Don’t fall for this realistic spoofed email
Streaming services have seen a major surge as we try to stay entertained while we’re stuck at home. That’s why scammers have been laser-focused on targeting streaming service users.
We recently told you about a fake offer for free Netflix that people were receiving through WhatsApp or text message. The strange messages promise a three-month premium Netflix subscription for free in exchange for clicking a link. Tap or click here for details on that scam.
Now, it’s Hulu users’ turn to be in the spotlight. An extremely realistic-looking fake email is being sent claiming that there was a problem with your Hulu payment.
Supposedly something went wrong and your payment was unable to be processed. The message goes on to say, “unfortunately, your Hulu subscription has been canceled.” But don’t worry, you can always reactivate your subscription at any time. A link is included in the message for you to reactivate Hulu.
Warning: Do not click on the reactivation link! It’s a scam.
This is a perfect example of how good cybercriminals are getting at spoofing emails and websites. It looks so realistic, it would be difficult for anyone to spot it as a fake.
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If you were to click on the malicious reactivate Hulu link you’d be taken to a spoofed website. Once you’re on the spoofed site, you’d be asked to enter your Hulu credentials and to update your payment information. Not good! You’d be handing over banking information directly to criminals.
The fact that we’re seeing more phishing emails like this makes it imperative to follow safety precautions to avoid falling victim. Keep reading for ways to stay protected.
How to avoid the dreaded phishing scam
Verify the sender
Whenever you receive an email from a company that you do business with, make sure to verify the email address the message is sent from. In this Hulu scam, the email came from email@example.com. It does kind of look legit since it has Hulu in the address and it’s not full of numbers and crazy characters like $^&*#.
However, if you go to Hulu’s official website and log in, you can navigate to the contact us section and send them an email. You’ll notice the official email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s why it’s important to verify email senders to make sure it’s coming from the official site.
Never trust links
There is always the possibility of an unsolicited email being a scam. That’s why you should never trust links or attachments found in unsolicited emails.
Instead, if you receive a message saying there is a problem with your account and it’s been canceled or blocked type the site’s address directly into your browser. That way you’ll know you are visiting the real deal and not a spoofed site.
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Enable 2FA when available
Any time a company offers two-factor authentication (2FA), take advantage of it. 2FA means you need two ways to prove who you are instead of just your login credentials.
You can either receive a one-time code via text or use an authentication app like Google Authenticator. Tap or click here to learn more about 2FA.
Protect your identity
One way identity thieves get your personally identifiable information (PII) is through phishing scams like this one. Replying to an email with sensitive information is a bad idea. Once the scammers have enough PII, they can steal your identity and ruin your credit by opening credit cards, taking out loans in your name and more.
That’s why it’s important to have an identity theft protection company on your side. There are just too many threats out there to keep track of everything on your own. Why not have a company that you can trust do all the heavy lifting for you? We recommend Identity Guard.
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If you see an email like this that is supposedly from Hulu, delete it immediately. And don’t forget to share this article with family and friends so they don’t get caught off-guard either. They will thank you for the heads up for sure.