TV Answer Man, I got an e-mail from the Netflix Help Center saying my account is on hold and that payment details needed to be updated. My card number is current so I am leery of the e-mail. Do you know if there are Netflix scams like this or could this really be from Netflix? — Shelley, Portland, Maine.
Shelley, listen to me very carefully. Don’t click on any link in that e-mail. In fact, delete the e-mail immediately so you won’t be tempted to click on it at any time. It’s part of a nationwide phishing scam designed to get your personal information. It is not from Netflix.
I know because I received a similar e-mail saying my subscription has been suspended, and that I need to update my personal information. But the joke on the scammers is that I don’t have an e-mail address registered with Netflix. Our family Netflix account uses my wife’s e-mail address.
The e-mail I received says:
“Payment details update required. We’re having trouble with your current billing information. We’ll try again, but in the meantime you need to update your payment details.”
It’s obviously a trick to get me, and millions of others, to click on the link. And if we do, it will take us to a fraudulent site where we will be urged to input our private information such as a credit card number. And once we do that, it will go straight to the bad guys who will use it to go on a shopping spree.
Scammers have used some version of this ploy for years. But employing Netflix as the subject is particularly effective now because more than 60 million Americans subscribe to the service. If you send out a mass e-mail campaign, it’s likely to go to numerous Netflix subscribers, some of whom might fall for the trick.
Social media sites are overflowing with reports from subscribers, and non-subscribers, that they have recently received this bogus e-mail or one like it. The scam is so prevalent that Netflix has posted a web page to alert customers to be wary of e-mail purporting to be from them. Netflix says it will never ask subscribers for personal information via an e-mail or text.
“We will never ask for your personal information by texts or email. This includes: Credit or debit card numbers; Bank account details; Netflix passwords,” the page states.
If you receive an e-mail from Netflix, or anyone else, that requests personal information by clicking a link in that e-mail, don’t do it. Instead, go to that company’s web site directly and check the status of your account. That way, you can be sure you’re dealing with the actual company rather than a scammer.
And if you have already clicked on a bogus link, go to that company’s web site and change your password immediately.
Shelley, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
If you are interested in Netflix, below is a recent TV Answer Man article on which shows Netflix plans to add this month:
Netflix Adding 97 New TV Shows & Movies In January
Netflix this month (January 2023) plans to add 97 new TV shows and movies to its streaming lineup, including 40 movies added on January 1.
The new films added on January 1 include six that you don’t won’t to miss. And they are…
* The Aviator, the absorbing (if overlong) 2004 drama from director Martin Scorsese starring Leonardo DiCaprio as legendary flyboy and billionaire Howard Hughes. DiCaprio is good as Hughes, but Scorsese is the star here with his stylish flourishes on display in nearly every scene. The impressive supporting cast includes Kate Beckinsale, Alec Baldwin, Alan Alda, Willen Dafoe, Jude Law, John C. Reilly and Cate Blanchett as Katherine Hepburn.
* Fletch, the 1985 comedy starring Chevy Chase at the height of his powers as investigative journalist Irwin ‘Fletch’ Fletcher. The supporting cast includes Tim Matheson (whose role in Animal House was originally set for Chevy), Joe Don Baker and a towel-clad Dana Wheeler-Nicholson who probably still smirks when she thinks about CC ‘hitting’ that water buffalo with his car.
* The Nutty Professor, Eddie Murphy’s 1996 homage to the original Jerry Lewis 1963 masterpiece with the former playing multiple roles. (For which he should have garnered an Oscar nomination, but that’s another story for another day.)
* Minority Report, Steven Spielberg’s 2002 sci-fi classic starring Tom Cruise as a detective who’s accused of murder before he commits it.
* Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino’s sensational first film about a group of dysfunctional bank robbers who have a mole in their midst.
* The first five Rocky films starring Sylvester Stallone as the loveable pugilist, Rocky Balboa. The original is the best here with Sly playing Rocky as a flawed everyman who just wants a chance to hit it big. Carl Weathers is a treat as his nemesis, Apollo Creed (clearly modeled after Muhammad Ali), while Burgess Meredith, Burt Young and Talia Shire make up the colorful cast.
Here is the complete list of new shows and movies coming to Netflix in January 2023:
The Way of the Househusband: Season 2
Barbershop 2: Back in Business
Daddy Day Care
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
I Know What You Did Last Summer
New Amsterdam: Season 1
The Nutty Professor
The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps
Old Enough!: Season 2
Resident Evil: Afterlife
Road to Perdition
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Survivor: Season 18
The Taking of Pelham 123
This Is 40
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
You Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger
How I Became a Gangster
The Kings of the World
The Lying Life of Adults
MADOFF: The Monster of Wall Street
Ginny & Georgia: Season 2
Woman of the Dead
Love Island USA: Season 2
Mumbai Mafia: Police vs The Underworld
The Pale Blue Eye
The Ultimatum: France Season 1 Part 2
The Walking Dead: Season 11
VINLAND SAGA: Season 2
Andrew Santino: Cheeseburger
The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker
Sexify, Season 2
Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight, season two
The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House
Vikings: Vahalla, season two
Sky Rojo, season three
Suzan & Freek
Trial By Fire
The Devil to Pay
Junji lto Maniac
The Pez Outlaw
That 90s Show
Woman at War
Bake Squad, season two
Bling Empire: New York
Fauda, season four
The Real World, season 28
Minions: The Rise of Gru
Little Angel, volume 2
Against the Ropes
Daniel Spellbound, season two
Record of Ragnarok, season two, episodes 1-10
Kings of Jo Burg, season two
Lockwood and Co.
The Snow Girl
Cunk on Earth
Pamela, a love story
— Phillip Swann