Heads up, Netflix customers! If you receive an e-mail asking you to update your payment method, do not do it right away.
Police say a sneaky scam going around could cost consumers thousands of dollars.
Experts say it used to be that scammers targeted the elderly, minorities, and other vulnerable populations, but as technology advances, so do their tactics. One of the latest ploys taps into fear of losing an online subscription.
“You see this email pop up, all of us want to take care of our digital billings as quickly as we can,” said Lt. Dave Edwards of Bountiful Police Dept.
At first glance, the email claiming to be from Netflix might appear legitimate. It comes with bold red words resembling the Netflix logo, embedded quick links, and even a disclosure statement with language almost identical to the company’s. The message goes on to tell you that Netflix was ‘unable to bill’ you for the month and politely asks you to ‘update your payment method.’
Edward says that is where people who are in a hurry make some expensive mistakes.
“They’ll take you to different sites where you just enter information… People won’t see it until they see their credit card statement and realize, ‘Where are all these credit charges coming from?'” Edwards explained.
Of course, by then, it is too late.
Local police say the bogus notifications are something they are seeing more of lately.
“These scammers — or phishing scammers — most of them are out of the country,” Edwards said.
In this particular case, the sender seems to be some kind of support team, but clicking on the ‘details’ option shows you the illegitimate source is clearly not Netflix. Police point out other giveaways are some slight grammatical errors and the font of the logo.
Experts say when it doubt, it never hurts to call the company the email is claiming to come from to ask for verification, but they say never interact with the scammer.
“I have heard of some computer hackers… using information from the people who tried to call them out on it as identities for their scams in the future,” Edwards said.
Police say if this happens to you, contact your local police department immediately. They also advise reporting details about the incident via e-mail here. You can learn about Netflix’s policies and protections against phishers here.