Video streaming giant Netflix currently has something like 150 million subscribers worldwide and 60 million in the U.S.
That tells me two things: there are a lot of people interested in gritty dramas, true crime stories, and those documentaries that kind of end up being more about the person making the documentary than the actual subject of the documentary, and what a prime target for a phishing scam.
And sure enough, there is one.
In this case, the phony email message alerts the recipient that there was a problem with their monthly payment. “Please update your payment details,” it begins. There is a link that takes the victim to a website that will either infect the victim’s computer with malware, steal personal and financial information, or both.
There are always clues you can look for when you get this sort of email, such as the message using a generic greeting instead of your name, link text that says one thing while the link actually points to a completely different site, grammar and spelling errors, or even more subtle hints (the screenshot I saw of this phishing email mentioned a “Help Centre,” which is a British English spelling unlikely to be used by an American company contacting an American customer). But you don’t really need to get that in-depth. If you get something like this, go directly to netflix.com and log in to your account (don’t use any links or phone numbers from the message itself). If there really is a problem, they’ll tell you. After all, Netflix is a business. They’re going to make it as easy as possible to correct anything that comes between them and your subscription money.