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Don’t let scammers threaten your binge watching

“Stranger Things” is one of the more popular shows in Netflix.
“Stranger Things” is one of the more popular shows in Netflix. TNS

If you love video-streaming service Netflix, watch for a phishing email intended to steal your information.

This phishing scheme starts with an email that appears to be from Netflix and says your account is being disabled. In one version, the text claims there was an issue with your payment that could be remedied by entering or updating payment information at the link provided. If you don’t, your account will be suspended.

The email looks like the real deal, complete with official-looking logos.

Scammers behind these emails hope you’ll click the link, which likely leads to a convincing imposter website, and begin entering personal information. While the Netflix version is one of the latest examples, these emails could appear to be from your bank, an online shopping site, or any number of places. You may be prompted to enter information like a username and password, payment information, or even more sensitive information like your Social Security number.

Don’t do it! Any information provided on a phishing website can go straight to the bad guys.

Remember these tips:

• Access your account directly. Go to the real company website to confirm you can access your account. Look for any messages indicating a problem.

• Be careful where you click. Do not click on any links or download any attachments from suspicious emails.

• Don’t skim. Read the email carefully for signs that it may be fake (for example, misspellings, grammatical errors, generic greetings such as “Dear member” instead of a name, etc.).

• Verify links. Hover your mouse over links without clicking to see the address. The URL in the text should match the URL that your mouse detects. If the two do not match, steer clear.

• Dump it. Delete the email from your computer completely. Be sure to empty your recycle bin or trash to ensure you don’t accidentally interact with the email.

• Monitor accounts frequently. Keep a close eye on your bank statements for any unexpected or unexplained transactions.

If you have clicked on any of the links within the email, immediately change your email and network passwords and notify your local IT provider for next steps and actions.

Netflix, currently a BBB Accredited Business, has more tips for users to help keep their account secure on their website.

Emily Valla, emily.valla@thebbb.org, is the Idaho marketplace director for the Better Business Bureau Northwest. To check a business or report a scam, go to www.bbb.org or call 208-342-4649.

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