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Netflix users targetted by scammers during COVID-19 outbreak

According to a security company, Scammers are increasingly using the likeness of online streaming website Netflix to defraud users during the COVID-19 epidemic.

BrandShield, the US cybersecurity company, has analyzed a total of 639 new domains registered including the word ‘Netflix’ in them since the beginning of the year.

About one-third of these dubious websites were created in March when millions of people adopted online streaming to reduce the boredom of social isolation.

Counterfeit sites such as netflixgiftcard.site and netflix-payment1.com, aim to fake victims into providing their personal information, including bank details. BrandShield stated that scammers are also attempting to hack account details of both existing and potential Netflix users via phishing emails and social media channels.

Brandshield CEO, Yoav Keren stated “As the world goes into lockdown, cybercriminals are capitalizing on people spending more and more time online. Consumers of streaming websites are increasingly at risk of successful phishing attacks.” He added, “We have seen an explosion in domain names featuring “Netflix” as criminals are looking to catch consumers out and extract financial or personal records.

Fake Netflix sites are created by criminals who are planning on looting money from victims who plan on hoping to access Netflix by providing their billing details. BrandShield also explained that 41 percent of the 639 websites also have a mail server portraying that there are chances of phishing emails being sent to people.

Alarmingly, it has also been found that Facebook is providing links to these malicious websites, in spite of the social network claiming to remove posts that take advantage of the COVID-19 situation. According to the UK’s cybercrime reporting center, losses of about £2 million have been incurred due to Coronavirus-related scams across UK, Wales and Northern Ireland alone.

Keren emphasized that governments must do more to enlighten the masses regarding their protection against the epidemic as well as the cybercriminals.