This post comes from Christine DiGangi at partner site Credit.com.
A security blogger recently reported a new phishing scam that could potentially reach millions of Americans: It involves Netflix.
Jérôme Segura posted about the scam to Malwarebytes Unpacked on Feb. 28, reporting that scam emails are telling Neflix users their accounts may have been compromised and they should call a support hotline.
In case you haven’t already guessed, the number provided does not go to the real Netflix support team.
It’s not a bad concept, as far as scams go. Remember a few weeks ago when the second season of “House of Cards” was set to premier on a Friday, but people up and down the East Coast were due to be snowed in on Thursday? Fans demanded that Netflix release the series early so those stuck inside could binge (this didn’t happen).
That’s how much people crave Netflix content. If an error message told you to call a number so you could get back to watching “House of Cards,” you might well oblige. It’s a scammer’s dream.
Segura documented the scam as it unfolded, calling the hotline and being told by “tech support” that his account was hacked. “There are hackers in your computer,” the phony support technician said, telling Segura that Netflix support needed to upgrade his security.
They asked him to download support software, which was really remote access software. He then watched the hackers browse his personal files as they gave him further instructions for resolving his supposed Netflix issue.
After they “helped” him with the issue, they were set to bill him $389.97, and he was instructed to take pictures of his credit card so they could authorize the payment.
In case you had not seen the plethora of red flags that surfaced throughout this interaction, this last bit is flying from a 50-foot flagpole, billowing in the wind.
As Segura noted in his blog post, a quick Internet search would show that the number displayed in the phishing scheme is not the one posted to Netflix’s official website. In the digital world, skepticism is always a good place to start when you receive a set of instructions.
If you’re worried about hackers compromising your identity, it’s important to monitor your credit. You can get two of your credit scores for free every month with the Credit Report Card. Any major, unexpected change in your credit scores could signal identity theft and you should pull your credit reports to confirm (you can get free credit reports from each of the major bureaus once a year).
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