Netflix Phishing Scam Warning: Attempted Identity Theft Recorded

A Netflix phishing scam is being conducted, a top security researcher is warning. Netflix subscribers should be on the lookout for a new phishing scam that tricks customers into calling a fake tech support line and turning over control of their computers.

Jérôme Segura, a senior security researcher for Malwarebytes Unpacked, stumbled upon the Netflix phishing scam Feb. 28 when he got a pop-up on his PC.

“We have detected unusual activity on this account,” the message, which featured the Netflix logo and coloring, read. “To protect your account from unauthorized use, we have temporarily suspended this username. To regain access to your account please contact Member Services at 1-800-947-6570.”

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Segura knew immediately the message was a fake and then recorded his phone conversation with “Tech Support.” The hackers — who, according to their IP address, are located in India — told Segura he first needed to download “Netflix Support Software,” which was actually the remote accessing tool TeamViewer, which allowed them to then control his computer.

“By running their own tool, which looks authentic, the crooks can detect ‘problems’ that do not exist,” Segura told Wired UK, adding that he then got a Windows pop-up with a lot of HTML coding. “Finally, showing those scan results adds to the fear factor, as well as creating a sense of urgency to fix the issue.”

The scammers told Segura they detected nine security threats and discovered that he’d been targeted by hackers in Serbia, Russia, and Italy. They then transferred him to “Microsoft Support,” all the while copying over files of interest, like one titled “banking 2013.doc.”

Finally, the scammers attempted to extract a payment of $389.97 (which they said included a bogus $50 Netflix coupon) for their “services.” They asked Segura to send them a photo of his ID and credit card so “that I know you are the card owner.”

“The Netflix theme was well thought out — from the suspended account ploy to the discount coupon if you agree to fix the issue, the bad guys have planned their approach in detail,” Segura told Wired UK. “Requesting a photo ID, as well as a snapshot of my credit card, was completely novel too, despite being the untrustworthy ones it is ironic they are trying to make sure the mark is not playing them. Aside from the fact that it is creepy, it creates a huge identity theft risk.”

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