Subscribers of the popular streaming video service Netflix are the latest potential victims of scammers.
Warnings are coming from the Better Business Bureau and locally, the Bath Police Department recently highlighted the scam on its Facebook page.
As always, be careful and suspicious about emails that appear to come from companies you do business with. There can also be solicitations from companies with which you have no association. It’s the same thing with phone calls and mailers.
Netflix subscribers have been targeted by what is called a “phishing” scam. Phishing is the term describing an email that directs you to a website. It looks real but is designed to get your account information or other personal data.
According to the BBB, users that are targeted will be led to a phony web page that may resemble the Netflix login page.
The Netflix users will enter their account information and the fake website will claim that the user’s account has been suspended. A fake customer service number is provided and a “representative” recommends the user download the “Netflix support software.”
The BBB says this is remote log-in software that gives the fake representative access to the user’s computer.
“Scammers are taking full advantage of Netflix’s good reputation and anyone could fall for this scam,” said Christy Page, CEO of the Akron-area BBB.
Consumers should look for three key indicators that the email involved in this scam is not from Netflix, according to the BBB:
(1) The phone number is not for Netflix, but belongs to a call center in India.
(2) The Web page is what’s known as a “pop-up.”
(3) The “representative” wants to log in to your computer via remote software.
Here are tips on how to avoid this scam and others like it:
• Never let someone log in to your computer remotely. Doing so allows a stranger to do anything you can do on your computer. They can access personal and financial information. I have written about this before. It is similar to scammers who call and say they are from Microsoft or another company and that there’s a problem with your computer.
• Do not click links in emails. It is better to type the address in the search bar manually.
• If the URL website address seems odd, do not continue to go to the site. If it is a scam, it will most likely have an unusual URL. It will likely contain a common name but be accompanied by some jumbled letters or numbers.
• Look up the company’s phone number on its website. If you need to call a company, look it up on its official website. This verifies that you are calling a legitimate number.
More advice on scams can be found online at www.bbb.org.