20th April 2020

Netflix scam exploits lockdown

Scammers are sending out emails fraudulently requesting Netflix users to submit their payment details.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team

The Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic lockdown has led to a surge in viewership of online video streaming services. With millions of more people staying at home, Netflix has seen a rise of 32% in paid subscriptions since mid-March according to billing platform Recurly. The radical shift in consumer activity has led to scammers attempting to take advantage of the situation.

CTSI has received evidence of bogus emails in Netflix branding which asks recipients to update their payment details. The email advises the recipient to click a link, which leads to a fake payment page which takes the credit card details of the target.

CTSI Lead Officer, Katherine Hart, said: “These types of scams are not new, but they’re increasing in prevalence since the pandemic lockdown began. Scammers react to the changing behaviours of the general public, and I am especially concerned about Netflix branded emails because of the rising popularity of the service.

“These scams will not be limited to a single company, and the public should also be aware of similar emails designed with competitor branding such as Amazon Prime Video, Britbox, Disney+ and others.

“The public should not click any of the links contained in these emails and report bogus emails to Action Fraud and the company the scam message is using as cover.

“I am equally amazed and disgusted at the breadth of new scams and the depths scammers have sunk to during this emergency. Trading Standards and our partners in the consumer protection landscape are working hard to minimise the damage that unscrupulous individuals are inflicting on the public during the pandemic.”

For information on how to report a scam to Action Fraud, go to this link.

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