Streaming Sign-Up Scams: How Criminals Steal Your Personal Info

Streaming Sign-Up Scams: How Criminals Steal Your Personal Info


Authorities are warning online shoppers about a new scam that can steal personal information. The scheme is a twist on the “fake webpage” shopping scam that has defrauded many victims. The new plot involves scammers tricking victims with a fake streaming service sign-up page.

Here’s what you need to know to avoid this scam and how you can report any fake web pages you find when you’re surfing the web.

The Scam

Criminals initiate the scheme by sending out emails or text messages that claim to contain discounts for new users on popular streaming services. These messages will usually contain deals that are too good to be true. If you see an email that claims you can get a year of Netflix for a dollar, you’re probably reading a scam message.

Once victims click on the links provided in these bogus messages, they land on a fake webpage that hackers have dressed up to look like a genuine sign-up page. The site prompts victims to input their email addresses and create a password, but these fields are there only to make the page look genuine. The purpose of these pages is to steal people’s credit card information.

If someone inputs their card number and security code into the site, they’re handing over all their personal information to criminals. Usually, scammers use these stolen credit cards to purchase gift cards since banks can’t reverse those transactions.

Identifying a Scam

Remember never to share personal information with unverified websites!

It’s never a good idea to follow links in emails or text messages. Scammers love sending these fake messages because it allows them to funnel people into phishing traps. If you only navigate to sites through search engines or by typing in the URL, you’ll never find yourself on a criminal’s hidden phishing page.

If you mistakenly follow a link from an email, double-check the address bar before inputting any information. Hackers can’t use the official URL of the site they’re copying, so the site name will tell you if you’re looking at a scam page.

Reporting Criminals

If a scammer sends you a link to a fake website, disregard the message and block the sender. Pass any information about the scam to law enforcement. Cybercriminals are still criminals, and they’re breaking the law by stealing from people online. You can help protect other people from fraud by reporting them to the authorities.