Nope, Netflix isn’t handing out free subscriptions to its streaming service due to the coronavirus outbreak — you’re probably being targeted in a phishing scam.
Users have taken to social media to report receiving suspicious texts, offering them “free passes” to the streaming service if they click a specific link. But while a freebie subscription might seem enticing in times of isolation, you might want to avoid the temptation to click: Netflix has nothing to do with these offers.
The company told Business Insider it has no involvement in the campaigns, even though the URL in the suspicious texts contains its name.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are giving away totally free access to our platform for the period of isolation, until the virus is contained,” a message on the malicious site reads. The campaign then asks visitors to complete a brief survey so they can claim a free pass.
Once completed, users are asked to send the link to 10 other people via WhatsApp in order to “activate” the subscription.
The site also features a fake Facebook-style comment section with tons of positive testimonials from users. None of those are authentic.
One thing that makes this malicious campaign believable is that there’s quite a few services actually offering free subscriptions during the isolation period — even though most of them are porn sites. Unfortunately, Netflix isn’t one of those services.
It’s not the first time scammers have targeted Netflix with malicious campaigns.
Phishers previously attempted tricking users into disclosing their financial details with fake emails asking them to update their Netflix payment details. The new scheme simply puts a coronavirus theme on an old ruse.
Coronavirus-themed scams have inundated the internet over the past few weeks. In fact, researchers found that COVID-19-related domain names are 50% more likely to infect your system than any other domains.
For more information about the coronavirus, please visit the following sources:
- World Health Organization COVID-19 Q&A
- European Center for Disease Control and prevention facts on COVID-19
- Center for Disease Control COVID-19 facts