Netflix scam email: how to spot the hoax message offering a year of free subscriptions - and what to do if you receive it

Netflix users should be wary of a scam phishing email offering a year’s worth of free subscription to the service.

Netflix users are being warned about a scam that's circulating.
Netflix users are being warned about a scam that's circulating.

What does the scam look like?

The email, which has been landing in inboxes across the country, tells users that they could win a year’s worth of premium Netflix subscription by clicking the link in the email.

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When the user clicks through, they’ll be taken to a landing page - designed to look official - where they’ll be asked to provide personal details.

The information requested, such as bank details, will then be harvested by scammers.

South Lanarkshire Council in Scotland alerted people to the scam, tweeting out a warning to Netflix users.

They wrote: "We're aware of a Netflix email scam, offering the chance to win a year's premium subscription.

"The link takes you to a genuine looking Netflix page designed to harvest info. Netflix will not email to ask for personal/bank info."

If you receive the email, you should not open it - flag it as spam instead.

How can I spot a scam?

Online scams have been on the rise during the coronavirus pandemic, with fraudsters taking advantage of the increased use of the internet during lockdown.

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You should always be suspicious of any website or company asking you to give sensitive information that they wouldn’t usually ask you for.

On Netflix’s official website, for example, they state that they would not ask for bank details in emails to customers:

"We will never ask for your personal information by texts or email.

"This includes: Credit or debit card numbers, Bank account details, Netflix passwords.

"We will never request payment through a 3rd party vendor or website.

"If you receive a text or email requesting any of the above, it is not from Netflix."

If someone is claiming to be from a company or organisation, you can always check with the official company whether the correspondence is genuine or not.

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If in doubt, it’s better to err on the side of caution than risk losing personal details or money.

You should be especially careful when it comes to dealing with correspondence with your bank and/or credit card provider.

Fraudsters have implemented some very sophisticated and convincing scams to trick people out of their money.

Your bank should have specific advice on how to spot scams, as well as advice on what to do if you suspect you have been scammed.

What should I do if I’ve been scammed?

Citizens Advice has helpful information on what to do if you think you might have been scammed.

You’ll need to do three things initially:

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-Protect yourself from further risks (by changing passwords, for instance)

-Check if you can get your money back (if money has been stolen)

-Report the scam.

Citizens Advice even has an online scamming tool where you can input the details of the scam to get advice specifically tailored to your situation.

You can report fraud and scams via Action Fraud, the UK's national reporting centre for fraud and internet crime, run by the City of London Police and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.

You can either call them on 0300 123 2040 or submit an enquiry on their website.