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Free Netflix pass because of Coronavirus? It’s a scam

Free Netflix pass because of Coronavirus? It's a scam

The public is being warned about fraudulent messages being shared on social media platforms that Netflix is offering free passes to its platform because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The messages, which have been seen spread across social networking sites and via WhatsApp, urge recipients to act quickly to secure their free pass.

“Due to the CoronaVirus pandemic worldwide, Netflix is giving some free pass for their platform during the period of isolation. Run on the site cause it will end quick.”

An identical scam has also been seen spreading in Spanish.

The scams point unsuspecting users to a website called netflix-usa[dot]net. The domain, registered by an opportunistic scammer just six days ago, does not belong to the real Netflix.

However, users eager to take up what they believe to be a free offer might be tempted to click on the link, and fooled by the look-and-feel of the website.

The website asks visitors to answer a few questions about how they are handling the COVID-19 pandemic, before telling them they have “won” and that they need to share the message with ten of their contacts in order to receive their free pass.

Of course, there is no free pass for Netflix. And all you have done is forward the scam onto others in your friend group, potentially exposing them to risk at the hands of scammers.

The risk is that the fraudsters behind the bogus campaign may attempt to trick those who sign-up with further communications, perhaps attempting to trick them into sharing personal information or downloading malicious code to their devices.

So, sorry. Although some (ahem) specialist interest websites are offering free access to those locked down by Coronavirus, Netflix isn’t one of them.

If you receive a scam message from one of your online friends about the bogus Netflix offer then the best advice is to tell them that they have been fooled, and delete the message. The last thing you should do is forward it to your friends.

About the author


Graham Cluley is an award-winning security blogger, researcher and public speaker. He has been working in the computer security industry since the early 1990s, having been employed by companies such as Sophos, McAfee and Dr Solomon's. He has given talks about computer security for some of the world's largest companies, worked with law enforcement agencies on investigations into hacking groups, and regularly appears on TV and radio explaining computer security threats.

Graham Cluley was inducted into the InfoSecurity Europe Hall of Fame in 2011, and was given an honorary mention in the "10 Greatest Britons in IT History" for his contribution as a leading authority in internet security.