Online scams saw an uptick as people turned to the internet for work, education, education, shopping and other daily activities during the pandemic. Though we are returning to the office, school, movie theaters and retail centers, crooks are not the type to give up.
It’s impossible to quantify the different types of scams taking place as you read this. But we’ve put together a report highlighting five schemes making the rounds that you need to know about. Tap or click here to learn more.
Now, scammers are turning their attention to streaming services. If you find an offer for Netflix or another service that seems too good to be true, it might be part of an elaborate scam. Read on to find out how to avoid them.
Here’s the backstory
A new report from cybersecurity firm Kaspersky looks at phishing scams increasingly being used to impersonate Netflix, Disney+ and other streaming services. They use a variety of phishing techniques to get your information.
Targeting new customers
The crooks can’t resist since you typically need to provide credit card and email information to sign up for a streaming service. Spoofed signup pages can give them access to all this at once.
Once they have your credit card data, they can wreak all sorts of havoc. Your email address can be used to target you again and again in countless ways.
With friends like these…
Existing streaming customers are not safe either. With millions of subscribers, Netflix is a prime target for scammers. Phishing emails from “Your friends at Netflix” inform the recipient to update their payment and personal information or risk being blocked from their account.
A link in the email leads to a page full of blank fields for name, address, phone number, credit card number, CVV and more. But be careful. The email isn’t from Netflix at all, and that data collection page is bogus. If you enter your details, you’re handing over valuable information to thieves.
Must see TV
Here’s another twist on streaming scams. A hot new series or movie will always lure an audience, which means more business for streaming services.
The same bait can be used by scammers, who take existing trailers and dress them up as new. In many cases, it’s old news as far as the production is concerned.
The victim, drawn in by an exciting trailer, is hit with a notification to purchase a subscription to watch more. They are linked to a fraudulent page with empty fields for personal and payment information.
Hijacking your account
Your streaming account is worth money. Hackers can sell it on the Dark Web, and you won’t know it until you find that someone else is logging in. They can steal your information by showing you a fake log-in page.
Even worse, if you’re using the same password for multiple accounts, your susceptibility to hacks, ransomware and theft is more significant.
What to look out for
- Avoid links and attachments that you receive in unsolicited emails. When in doubt, don’t click.
- If the message gives you a sense of urgency, delete it. The same goes for excitable headlines.
- Hover over a link to see if the URL is legitimate. Be careful, as scammers can even navigate around this precaution.
- Watch out for spelling and grammar errors.
- Keep your operating systems, apps and devices updated with the latest official software and patches.
- Always have a trusted antivirus program updated and running on all your devices. We recommend our sponsor, TotalAV. Right now, get an annual plan with TotalAV for only $19 at ProtectWithKim.com. That’s over 85% off the regular price, just for Kim’s readers and listeners!