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Netflix Phishing Scams – How to Recognize and Counter Them

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Companies such as Netflix, PayPal, DHL, and Amazon are often leveraged in various phishing scams, where cyber crooks exploit their popularity to trick users into sharing personal and financial information.

There is barely a user who hasn’t received a crafty spam email. And in many cases, the user even opens the email despite knowing the risks of interacting with suspicious content (links within the text body, attached documents).

Threat Summary

NameNetflix Phishing Scams
TypePhishing, Malware
Short DescriptionPhishing messages trying to trick you into interacting with links and email attachments. Once clicked, a link will redirect you to a landing page where you may be prompted to do a particular action like revealing credit card details. Keep in mind that Netflix phishing emails tend to create a sense of urgency.
SymptomsYou receive an e-mail message that is allegedly from Netflix. You will be urged to click on a link. From there, you can either be infected with malware (mostly infostealers) or you may be redirected to a carefully crafted landing page imitating Netflix.
Distribution MethodPhishing Emails, Pop-up messages, Redirects
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User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Netflix Phishing Scams.

Netflix Phishing Scams — December 2018 Update

We have received reports of a new attack campaign carrying Netflix phishing scam messages. The captured strains are being spread globally and different variants may be developed in time. The displayed email message reads that the victim’s account has been suspended. The typical design elements of Netflix are also included in order to coerce the users into interacting with the dangerous elements. In this case it is a phishing link that will lead to a fake login page.

The shown landing page will request the Netflix login details, if entered they will automatically be transferred to the hacker operators.

Luckily, there are ways to recognize phishing emails, and in this article we are going to present to you the latest variants of Netflix-themed phishing scams. And respectively, how to protect yourself from them.

Netflix Phishing Scams – Description

Phishing attempts are constantly being improved and made more sophisticated and personalized.
Carefully crafted spear Netflix-themed spam emails have been spreading attempting to trick Netflix users into revealing their credit card information. These emails are typically designed to make the subscriber believe that his or her membership is about to be discontinued unless immediate action is taken. This is the very first red flag that should alarm you of malicious intentions.

Netflix Phishing – Membership Suspended FauxEmail

Phishing emails are usually written with the idea of creating a sense of urgency, and often try to intimidate the user by claiming their membership is about to be suspended. This is clearly a threat that no legitimate company will actually induce, be it Netflix or some other subscription-based popular service.

An example of such email:

We were unable to validate your billing information for the next billing cycle of your subscription. We’ll suspend your membership if we do not receive a response from you within 48hours.

Keep in mind that an email presenting claims such as the above example do not belong to Netflix or any other legitimate company. If you are tricked into giving away your personal or credit card information, your Netflix accounts may be compromised, and your identity may be misused. In case you encounter such an email, don’t open it, or if you do open it – don’t interact with any of the links or attachments. In addition to being robbed, your system may be flooded with malware.

Netflix Phishing – Payment Declined Faux Email

Another version of Netflix-themed phishing emails concerns declined payments, and it was detected a while back by MailGuard security researchers. In this case, the user will be asked to re-enter details about his credit card because it wasn’t recognized, or something of the sort.

Here is an example of such email:

We attempted to authorize the Amex card you have on file but were unable to do so. We will automatically attempt to charge your card again within 24-48 hours.
Update the expiry date and CVV (card verification value) for your Amex card as soon as possible so you can continue using it with your account.

As you can see, the phishing email is carefully crafted – it has the company logo, a call-to-action button and once again a sense of urgency is created. If this button is clicked the potential victim will be taken to a page where the demanded payment details should be provided. Needless to say, doing so will harm your credit card details and your finances.

Netflix Phishing – Malware Infections

Credit card details harvesting may not be the only thing cyber crooks are after. There have been several Netflix-themed malicious campaigns where malware has been dropped onto victims’ systems.

One such case was registered in February a couple of years ago. That malware campaign was representing itself as a cheaper mean to access and watch movies on Netflix.

One distribution method employed by attackers involved malicious files masqueraded as Netflix software. The malicious files were downloaders that, upon execution, opened a Netflix-themed home page while silently downloading Infostealer.Banload.

Infostealer.Banload is classified as a Trojan horse. Once installed on a victim’s system, it opens a backdoor and harvests various types of sensitive information. In addition, the Trojan may also download other malicious files, and may lead to further infections.

Netflix Phishing – Scam Login Page

Another variant of the Netflix scams is the creation of fake login pages. The versions in particular which are proven to be dangerous present a simple sign-in dialog with a background image taken from their production. Other elements that can manipulate the users into thinking that they have accessed a legitimate page belonging to Netflix includes the following:

  • Facebook Login — The pages also contain a Facebook login option. If clicked the hackers will be able to obtain the authentication token and thus gain information about the users social network data.
  • Language Options — Several multi-language versions of the landing page can be accessed. This is viewed as a characteristic of the legitimate Netflix login page.
  • Similar Domains — The Netflix phishing scam landing pages of this type can use similar sounding domin names. This means that if the actual website is mistyped the users may land on a fake domain without noticing.
  • Security Certificates — Self-signed or stolen certificates can be installed which can institute a false sense of security.

How to Stay Protected Against Netflix Phishing Scams

Fortunately, there are ways that could help to secure your Netflix account. The company itself has provided some “top recommendations” for keeping your account and personal information safe:

  • Use a password unique to Netflix and change it periodically;
  • Be aware of possible phishing attempts;
  • Keep your computer safe;
  • Report fraudulent or suspicious activity;
  • Sign out of unused devices;
  • Report security flaws to Netflix.

In addition to these general security tips regarding your Netflix account, make sure to follow these tips regarding your email account and personal computer:

  • Do not provide any details about you, your addresses or similar information via email or on unverified websites;
  • Do not open email attachments, as it is highly unlikely for Netflix to do so;
  • Always use Netflix’s official website to refer to pages in connection with the service;
  • Don’t interact with messages with grammatical or typographical errors;
  • Don’t interact with emails that are not addressed to you by name;
  • Avoid messages sent by a service you don’t expect to hear from;
  • Don’t trust messages that do not include a tracking number or specific details about your order or address;
  • Avoid clicking on links to provide your email address or other personal details for verification;
  • Avoid payments to someone whose identity you can’t confirm.

How to Remove Netflix Phishing Scams

All that is required to remove some Netflix scams is to ignore the message, never respond to it and delete it. Other scams require a bit of action, such as thoroughly scanning your computer with security software to determine whether you have some malware component that is pushing Netflix spoofed messages to your computer, browser or email address.

In case you believe your computer is endangered because you have interacted with a Netflix phishing email, it’s strongly recommended to scan it with security software.

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Milena Dimitrova

An inspired writer and content manager who has been with SensorsTechForum for 4 years. Enjoys ‘Mr. Robot’ and fears ‘1984’. Focused on user privacy and malware development, she strongly believes in a world where cybersecurity plays a central role. If common sense makes no sense, she will be there to take notes. Those notes may later turn into articles!

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