Don't Fall for Netflix Scams: So you can Netflix & Chill

January 9th · 9 min read

Rotem Tal - Senior Cybersecurity Expert |Writer & Editor|
Rotem Tal - Senior Cybersecurity Expert |Writer & Editor|

Back in the day, before streaming services were even a thought, Netflix was was a DVD and video rental company competing with Blockbuster. They went on to introduce a digital streaming service in 2007 and haven’t looked back since. Netflix revolutionized the way we consume media and has become a pop culture icon. Today, it boasts over 230 million subscribers in more than 190 countries, making it one of the most popular streaming platforms in the world.

Due to its astronomical popularity, Netflix is also one of the most commonly imitated brands, when it comes to phishing schemes. In this article, we’ve put together a complete streaming scam guide, plus tips on how to keep safe - so you can Netflix and chill worry-free.

This is how Netflix Scams Work

Netflix scams come in different shapes and sizes, like text (SMS), email, job offers, subscription renewals, etc. They all attempt to get you to click a malicious link. Once you click it, you’ll be taken to a fake Netflix site that looks identical to the real one, then you’ll either be asked for your login details or payment information. Can you guess what comes next? Drum roll….

The scammer will take your payment details and go on a shopping spree. Or even worse, they’ll take your login credentials, lock you out of your account, steal your personal information, and eventually your identity. No, this isn’t another episode of Black Mirror, this totally happens in real life, but thankfully there’s a way to avoid the drama. Below are some of the latest Netflix scams you should be aware of and some tips on how to avoid them. Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Netflix Text Phishing Scams

Phishing scams know no borders, and while they were once confined to emails, over the past few years, they’ve made their way to mobile phones via text messages.

Smishing, an SMS version of phishing, substitutes emails with text messages to trick people into revealing sensitive information or clicking on malicious links. Cybercriminals send unsuspecting people text messages claiming they are locked out of their account, or that their account is about to be suspended. Cue panic.

Example of a smishing text

So be wary if you ever get text messages claiming you need to update your account status. They’re most likely coming from scammers trying to get you to click on a phishing link. If you click the link and provide any of your personal info, they’ll be able to harvest your login credentials, personal information, and credit card details.

Netflix Phishing Scams

Wow, where do we even begin with this scam? Because Netflix is so popular, and its branding colors and logo are pretty easy to copy, scammers are able to create fake Netflix emails that look like legitimate messages from the brand.

Whether it's an exclusive deal or a free subscription, scammers will say anything to get you to click on a link that’ll lead you to an online survey or login page. You know what’s coming next, right?

If you enter any personal information or download files from the fake site, you're doomed. Using these fake pages, cybercriminals will record everything you enter and use it to access your bank account or steal your identity.

Special Pricing for 25,000 Subscribers

Does a free one-year Netflix subscription sound appealing? Scammers, along with 1,000’s trusting, gullible victims, sure think so. In this scam, the phishing email lures you in with the hopes of getting a special price for your Netflix subscription for a whole year. The scammers add a sense of urgency by offering it to the first 25,000 sign-ups, so you better act fast. While a special price does sound appealing, it’s a total cobweb of lies.

Free Netflix Subscription for a Year

Same same, but different - You’re offered a supposedly free Netflix subscription for a year as part of the company's anniversary promo. When you hit the Join Now button, you’ll be prompted to enter your data, including your full name, email address, credit card information, and other details.

How secure are your online accounts?

Protect yourself from Netflix phishing scams & other online threats, start your free 7-day trial today.

Netflix Payment was Declined

The phishing email will say that Netflix couldn’t complete your monthly payment because of some sort of problem, like insufficient funds, wrong information, or a lack of authentication from the card-issuing bank. But don’t worry, all you need to do is update your payment information, and you’ll be able to continue your Netflix subscription, phew that was close.

Once you press the call to action button (CTA), saying Update Payment, you’ll be redirected to a fake login page, where you’ll be required to enter your updated payment method. I think you can guess what happens next… No, you can’t get back to binge-watching Too Hot to Handle.

Time is Running out on your Netflix Membership

As opposed to suggesting there's a problem with your payment information, these emails claim that you need to renew your subscription. If you’ve had Netflix for a few years now, you know that your membership automatically renews. But the phishing attempt tries to catch you off guard (io), and automatically click the link to renew your subscription.

Netflix Tagger Job Scam

Back in 2015, Netflix came up with this cool job title called "Netflix Tagger." Can you imagine getting paid to watch Netflix all day? These part-time hires were responsible for binge-watching loads of Netflix content and categorizing it for us viewers. Netflix binge-watching for money sounds like a dream job, right? Sadly, scammers are exploiting the allure and are taking advantage of innocent job seekers.

Scammers use phishing emails, posing as Netflix recruiters, to lure people in. They also create fake job postings on popular job boards and social media sites, making them look legit with detailed descriptions, requirements, and competitive salaries.

The email will typically ask you to click on a link or open an attachment, which could lead to malware or ransomware infecting your device. They may even go the extra mile by providing a fake application form, tricking you into sharing sensitive information like your name, Social Security number (SSN), and bank account details.

Here's the kicker: they may even ask you to make payments for background checks, training materials, or software before you can "start working." It's a sneaky way for them to steal your hard-earned money. So, if something feels off or too good to be true, trust your instincts and be cautious. Don't let these scammers take advantage of your job search. Double-check the legitimacy of job postings on the Netflix job page. Remember, never share personal or financial information unless you're absolutely certain about the authenticity of the opportunity.

Incorrect Billing Information

If you've ever received an email claiming to be from Netflix saying that there’s trouble with your current billing information, be careful — it's one of the most common scams out there. These emails often state that your account is on hold due to issues with your billing details.

The message will ask you to click on a link provided in the email to update your account. Surprisingly (enter sarcasm), the link leads you to a fake website designed to trick you into entering your personal information.

Smart TV Netflix Scam

Yep, that’s right, hackers can even get into your smart TV. First, they’ll create a pop-up message that will appear when you try to log into your streaming service. The pop-up claims there's a problem with either your streaming device or subscription. But don’t worry - to resolve the issue, the pop-up provides you with a phone number to call or a website to visit. This is where the trap is set.

Similarly to tech support scams, when you call the number, you're connected to a scammer pretending to be a Netflix customer service representative. They’ll explain that in order to regain access to your streaming service or device, you need to pay an activation fee or grant them remote access to your smart TV.

According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), there has been a surge in reports about malicious pop-ups targeting unsuspecting victims. The best way to avoid these scams and protect your security is by keeping your software updated and being cautious of suspicious messages.

What can you do to Stay Safe?

If you get an email or text message asking for your Netflix account email, phone, password, or payment method, it probably didn't come from Netflix. To keep your account safe, follow these tips for identifying and handling suspicious emails and texts.

  • Don’t share any personal information in a text or email. Netflix will never ask you to share your sensitive like credit or debit card numbers, bank account details, and Netflix passwords via text or email.
  • Make sure to check the correct sender's mobile number/email address.
  • Any offer or link that seems "too good to be true" is probably just that. Other red flags include free gifts and prizes.
  • Only click on links from familiar websites, as these might lead you astray or worse.
  • Never click on links or attachments from people you don't know. Use a browser protection tool.
  • Make sure to go directly to the Netflix Help Center for issues with your account.
  • It’s also a good idea to get browser protection, that way, you can stop Netflix scams before they even happen. Guardio’s Chrome extension monitors suspicious activity, alerts you about phishing emails, and blocks malicious pop-ups. Start your free 7-day trial now.
How secure are your online accounts?

Protect yourself from Netflix phishing scams & other online threats, start your free 7-day trial today.

  • Create a new Netflix password that is strong and unique.
  • Any other website or app where you used the same email and password must be updated as well.
  • Side note: It's best not to use the same email and password combinations for any websites or apps.
  • Contact your financial institution if you entered any payment information, as it may have been compromised.
  • Forward the message to with the steps above.

To learn more about how to handle scams, visit Netflix’s Help Center.

Wrapping Up

As a popular streaming service, Netflix has become a target for scams. From fake emails about billing errors to deceptive job offers and smart TV hacks, scammers try various tactics to trick users into revealing personal information or clicking on malicious links. To protect yourself, be cautious of suspicious emails or texts, avoid sharing sensitive data, and use browser protection tools. If you encounter a scam, change your password, update credentials on other platforms, and report the incident to Netflix. Follows these steps so you can Netflix and chill safely.

How secure are your online accounts?

Protect yourself from Netflix phishing scams & other online threats, start your free 7-day trial today.

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