As Covid-19 infections began gathering pace in January and many governments mulled social lockdown, global streaming giant Netflix anticipated a global increase of 7 million new subscribers. It wasn't wrong. It was very wrong. The company added 15.8 million new subscribers, doubled its forecast, as the lockdown began to take effect.
It’s hardly surprising that scammers have also hooked into the trend. More than 700 fake websites mimicking Netflix and Disney+ signup pages have been created seeking to harvest personal information during the coronavirus lockdown streaming boom.
- The newer Disney+, which started its international rollout last months launching in Western Europe’s main markets including the UK, was mimicked by four new websites in the same one-week period.
- Some of the counterfeit sites can look extremely convincing, selling subscriptions or free accounts to harvest personal and credit card data, although most are poorly designed and have language errors that mark them out as suspicious.
Tips and advice
- These spoof websites often lure unsuspecting people with an offer of free subscriptions to steal valuable data. The data harvested includes names, addresses, and other personal information, as well as stealing credit card details for financial gain.
Be extremely wary of free offers.
- We live in a commercial world and organisations of all shades are not in the habit of giving away free products and services.
If you have any doubt about the authenticity of any website offering free streaming, free accounts, or free anything, follow these three simple steps to establish whether it’s real or not:
- If a website has lots of spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar errors, more than likely it is a scam.
- Check the domain name. Scammers often mimic legitimate brands but there will be small differences in the domain name, for instance rather than netflix.com or disney+.com you might see netflixi.net or disnEy.net or similar variations.
Protecting your personal data
- By checking how long the domain has been in use you can see how long the website has been in business, giving you a better sense of whether it’s authentic. This website provides information on who a domain name is registered to, where they are, and how long the website has been active.
Harvesting sensitive data is big business for scammers. And the more sensitive it is, payment card details, for instance, the more valuable it is. The information will either be used directly by scammers to perpetrate fraud or sold on the dark web for others who will use it for nefarious purposes.
We strongly recommend you use the identity protection feature in BullGuard Premium Protection
. Thanks to an
- You simply enter your information you want to protect into the application such as payment card numbers, passwords, addresses, phone numbers, and so on.
- If any of this data appears somewhere online, you will receive an immediate alert enabling you to take quick and decisive action to protect yourself.