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7 Netflix Subscription Scams During COVID-19: How They Work

(updated May 6, 2020) The great popularity that Netflix has achieved with its convenient service has also attracted scammers who want to take advantage of it, especially during the pandemic. There is an email going around these days claiming to be from Netflix, but is sent by scammers who use the network's logo, graphics, and even layout to offer subscribers a new outstanding deal. From enjoying movies for free to account cancellations and free passes during COVID-19 crisis, criminals created a whole range of scams - especially the online form autofill phishing trap. But let's dive into the Netflix dark side.

There are seven variants of the Netflix Subscription Scam email. How do they work?


1. Netflix Subscribers

Watch the video below to see a first variation of Netflix Scam exposed:

Netflix Scam In The News Video

In the first particular case, the text of the email reads: "We are allowing the first 25,000 subscribers to receive a special rate and lock in their current pricing for the next five years. Click here for this offer".

Clicking the link will get you to fill in a form with all your banking and personal info, not to mention the link containing malware or other viruses.


2. Unable To Bill Your Subscription

In the second variation of the Netflix Scam, the victim receives an email with the Subject title: "Unable to Bill Your Subscription". The content of the email is: "We're unable to bill your subscription with the current payment method. To ensure the service will not be interrupted, you'll need to update your card information. You can do this by clicking: Sign In to my account here [compromised link], then you will be prompted to update your card information."

Needless to say, you won't be paying the real Netflix, but the scammers impersonating the company.


3. Netflix Cancellation Scam

In the third variation of the scam, you receive an email from a "Netflix Club" with the subject title: "Your Netflix Membership Is About To Be Cancelled". In the content of the email the ask you "please update your payment method. We are having problems authorizing your card". See image below.

Then, an account login page is provided, just as seen in the main image of this article. The page looks absolutely identical to the real Netflix. Logging in, you do nothing but giving scammers the credentials for getting into your account, where you have your credit card information.

update your payment method on netflix

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4. Netflix Anniversary Membership

In the fourth variation of the scam, the email claims to offer a free subscription to Netflix for a year, as a 10 year anniversary of the company. Once you click the but red button and want to "Join Now", you'll be offering scammers all your personal information, which they can use for identity theft.


5. Google Calendar: Free Netflix For a Year

In this version of the scam, criminals use Google Calendar to send an unsolicited event that pops up in your calendar. The notification invites you to take a survey and get a "Free Netflix for a Year" subscription. How does the scam work?

The link takes you to a phishing website that steals your Netflix account credentials and credit card information. The good news is that the fake event pop up can be stopped by changing a default setting in Google Calendar. How do you do that? See below.

google calendar free netflix for a year

Open your Google Calendar settings HERE. Choose "Event Settings" on the left, then change the option that says "Automatically add invitations" to "No" to only show invitations to which you have responded. Finalize the process by scrolling down the page to "View Options" and uncheck the box that says "Show declined events". This will prevent the Google Calendar from showing spam that you've declined.


6. Netflix Student Discount

This scam works very simple. Students are lured into believing that Netflix has a great offer for them, as long as they offer their student ID and all the personal data - to prove they are the ones needing the service. Obviously, the stealing of the information leads to identity theft.

There is no thing such as Netflix student discount, so beware.


7. Netflix Free Trial Without Credit Card

Based on the same template as presented in the student discount case, the tagline that scammers get their victim with is "Netflix free trial without credit card". That would be nice, but no. It is is not possible.


Netflix Subscription Scam: How To Avoid

If not sure, go to the real Netflix's official website and check for their amazing deals. Don't click the link provided in the e-mail. If you take a closer look at the message received, you might see that the scammers' e-mail comes from a domain name spelled Netfl1x, missing the letter "i" (photo).


Netflix Subscription: How To Report a Scammer

Make your family and friends aware of these Netflix scams by sharing this article on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:

Report Scammers To The FTC Here


How to protect yourself more:

If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You'll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.


Educate yourself with the videos below:


1. Top 5 Amazon Scams in 2020


2. Top 5 PayPal Scams in 2020


3. The Nigerian Scam [Docu-Drama]

This movie shows how a victim lost over $30,000 to an intricate scheme which is still around years later.

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