As the most popular streaming service in the U.S., Netflix wields immense power over what much of the public watches and talks about. People without a Netflix subscription can often feel left out of these conversations, in part because they don't have the same chance to watch all of the shows and movies that the service releases. Now, a new offer may give non-subscribers a chance to get in on the fun.
Is Netflix giving a free year subscription?
People across the country may have received messages since the start of the pandemic suggesting that Netflix is offering subscribers a free year of access to the service because of the pandemic. The messages usually say something like, "Due to the coronavirus pandemic worldwide, Netflix is giving some free passes for their platform during the period of isolation. Run on the site cause it will end quick!”
These posts also typically include a link that takes users to a phishing site. From there, users may be asked to put in some sort of personal information.
The messages are, in fact, a scam. Netflix is no longer even offering its users a free trial before they sign up for a paid subscription, and it isn't offering any user a free year of access to the service.
Scammers have also contacted existing Netflix users.
In addition to messages offering free access to the service, scammers have also been reaching out to existing Netflix customers. These messages typically tell users that there is something wrong with their account that requires updating.
Then, when a subscriber clicks on the link to update their information, they are asked to provide personal details that the scammer then uses to nefarious ends.
Netflix has responded to those scams directly, saying that the company wouldn't ask for any personal information like banking or credit card numbers via text or email. The company also clarified that it will never ask for payment through a third-party vendor and that if the URL in a text or email looks unfamiliar, you shouldn't click it or enter any personal information on that site.
What should Netflix users do when they come across these scams?
All scams and phishing attempts can be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org. Users who have already fallen victim to a phishing scam should change their Netflix password to something that is both unique and secure.
They should also change their password on any sites that share a password with their Netflix account and contact their financial institution if they offered up any financial information.
These tips are true both for emails that suggest you should update your account and for offers of a free year of Netflix. The service's popularity has naturally made it great bait for scammers who are looking to collect your personal information.
While there are certainly plenty of great movies and TV to watch on Netflix, if the offer you're reading sounds too good to be true, it probably is.