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Watch out for Netflix scam, BBB warns

Free Netflix for a year? Not so fast, the Better Business Bureau warns.
This Aug. 13, 2020  photo shows a logo for Netflix on a remote control in Portland, Ore....
This Aug. 13, 2020 photo shows a logo for Netflix on a remote control in Portland, Ore. Netflix Inc.(Jenny Kane | AP)
Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 8:41 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Free Netflix for a year? Not so fast, the Better Business Bureau warns.

The BBB said it has received numerous reports about a text message scam involving “free” Netflix.

How the Scam Works

Victims receive a text that says something similar to “Due to the pandemic, Netflix is offering everyone a free year of service to help you stay at home. Click the link to sign up.” Sounds too good to be true, right? It is.

BBB says if you click the link you’ll be taken to a website to fill out your personal information and add a payment method. However, this is not Netflix’s real signup page. If you add your information, you’ll be giving it to a scammer.

One victim told the BBB that scammers had charged her card repeatedly, even after they asked for a refund.

“[The scammers] said no other money would be taken out of my account again,” the victim reported. “Then, about a week later, they took $39.99, and I called and asked for a refund. They told me 3 days at first. Then, after 3 days I called back, and they told me 7-10 business days. It’s been 10 business days. And now I have no refund.”

The BBB offers some tips to avoid similar scams:

  • Don’t believe every text you receive. As a general rule, companies can’t send you text messages unless you opt in to receive them. If you receive a text message from a company you haven’t given permission to contact you in this way, proceed with caution.
  • Go straight to the source. If an offer seems strange, or too good to be true, contact the company directly by looking up their official contact information online. Call or email customer service to find out if the text message you received is legitimate.
  • Take a close look at web addresses.If you follow a link in a text message that you believe is legitimate, examine the web address carefully before you take any action to make sure you are visiting a company’s official website and not a look-alike.
  • Ignore instructions to text “STOP” or “NO.” Even if you realize the message is a scam, don’t text back for any reason. Scammers may want you to text back to verify that your phone number is an active one. Instead, simply block the number so you won’t receive messages from it in the future.
  • Change your password. Even if you don’t fall for this scam, Netflix advises its customers to change their password if they’ve been targeted. Click here for more tips from Netflix.

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