Attorney General Denise George alerted residents via press release on Wednesday about scams circulating in which residents have reported fake emails or texts requesting their Netflix username, password or payment method.
This is a scam targeting Netflix members seeking to steal personal information from the company’s subscribers, the release states. “This scam is not new, but due to COVID-19 restrictions around the world, Netflix has gained more popularity and we know there is quite a number of subscribers here in the Virgin Islands,” George said. “Some subscribers may not be as concerned with data theft, especially if they fear their membership is in jeopardy.”
George’s release states that nationally people lost an estimated $57 million last year, according to the FBI’s Crime Complaint Center, because of phishing. Phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails by someone posing as a legitimate institution in order to lure individuals into providing sensitive data. The personal information is then used to access important accounts, which can result in identity theft and financial loss. Netflix is a regular target for cybercriminals because they have more than 158 million paid streaming subscribers worldwide.
Scammers send emails claiming that users need to update their current billing information because their recent subscription payment was not authorized. Users are asked to click on a legitimate-looking link to a system where personal information can be stolen.
Netflix advises customers they will never request payment through a third-party vendor or website, and will never ask for personal information by texts or emails. This includes:
- Credit or debit card numbers
- Bank account details
- Social security numbers or tax identification number
- Netflix passwords
If you receive a suspicious email or text, do not click any links in the messages or reply to them.
What should I do if I clicked a link or provided personal information?
- Change your Netflix password to a new one.
- Update your password on any websites where you use the same email and password combination.
- Contact your financial institution if you entered any payment information, as it may have been compromised.
Tips to keep your information safe
- When in doubt, avoid clicking on links; go directly to the company website instead.
- Never provide personal or financial information through email.
- Confirm the email sender; click on the downward arrow next to the name to see full details.
- Make sure the links go where you expect them to. On a computer browser, hover over any links before clicking on them to see the URL.
- Use strong passwords and change them periodically.
- Install anti-virus software to help guard your devices and personal information.
For more information go to Netflix guidance for security, www.netflix.com/security.