Netflix users are being warned to stay vigilant as a new phishing scam is seeing hackers empty bank accounts.
Fake emails are being sent out to users of the popular streaming service asking customers to update their payment details.
However, if you fall for the trick and click on the link provided in the email and enter in your bank details, you may find your money will be stolen by the scammers.
The email, which claims to be from Netflix itself, reads:
We’re having some trouble with your current billing information.
We’ll try again, but in the meantime you may want to update your payment details.
At the end of the email there is a big red button which says ‘update account now’ which leads you to a fake website which looks like Netflix’s official site.
Once you have entered your information, the scammers will then use that to hack into your bank account.
US government agency the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has now issued an urgent warning about the scam on their website.
Issuing advice on their ‘Consumer Information’ page, the FTC wrote:
If you have concerns about the email, contact the company directly. But look up their phone number or website yourself. That way, you’ll know you’re getting the real company and not about to call a scammer or follow a link that will download malware.
While some phishing emails look completely legit, bad grammar and spelling can tip you off to phishing. Other clues: Your name is missing, or you don’t even have an account with the company. In the Netflix example, the scammer used the British spelling of ‘Center’ (Centre) and used the greeting, ‘Hi Dear’. Listing only an international phone number for a U.S.-based company is also suspicious.
They added that if you receive a suspicious looking email from someone claiming to be Netflix, look out for ‘centre’ and ‘Hi Dear’, you should report it to the FTC by forwarding them to [email protected] and [email protected]
Netflix also have on their own website advice on how to deal with a suspicious email should you receive one.
Sharing their top tips, the streaming service advised:
Never enter your login or financial details after following a link in an email or text message. If you’re unsure if you’re visiting our legitimate Netflix website, type www.netflix.com directly into your web browser.
Never click on any links or open any attachments in an email or text message you received unexpectedly, regardless of the source.
If you suspect an email or text message is not from Netflix, do not reply to it. Follow the steps below to forward it to us.
To forward an email onto Netflix you should send it to [email protected]
They add once you have forwarded it on you should immediately delete the email from your inbox.
If you have opened a suspicious email and provided your personal information and bank details, Netflix advises that you change your password for the streaming service to ‘a new and unique one’ and contact your bank immediately if any financial information was entered.
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Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.