Netflix users in Scotland are being urged to stay vigilant after an online scam has emerged targeting users’ login and bank account details.
The Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) is warning people who use the online streaming service to be on high alert following a spate of fraudulent emails.
Users of the site have received emails prompting them to keep their memberships details up to date. They are then linked to a bogus login page on which they are asked to fill out personal details.
Gerry Grant, an ethical hacker with SBRC, has given advice to those concerned about potentially being targeted.
He said: “Netflix has made it easier for people everywhere to quickly browse and access a huge range of TV and cinema.
“However, we are urging caution after a recent outbreak of fraudulent emails have targeted users of the site.
“Attackers are now taking more care in creating genuine looking emails. This can make it a lot harder to spot a fake email, but users should never click on the link in any email, but log on to the site directly from their browser.”
Once users have filed in their details hackers are able to use them to either extract further information or directly target finances.
The popularity of streaming websites has boomed over the past year and the huge number of potential targets makes them an attractive proposition for online criminals.
A similar ‘phishing’ scam has also surfaced in recent weeks that attempts to lure Amazon Prime users into passing on private information – further highlighting the need for everyone using the internet to exercise caution.
Gerry added: “There are three simple steps people can take if they are suspicious of unsolicited messages like these.
“Do not click the link, check the link’s URL to see if it is to trustworthy site and never put your personal and bank account details into any form that is not completely trustworthy.
“It is important to avoid clicking on these kind of sites in the first place, so users should be vigilant of the sites they are visiting.”
With the rise of personal information being cultivated by criminal gangs and sold via the Dark Web (an intricate system of private untraceable web servers often used by hacker groups) it is important to be vigilant at all times when using devices that may store any personal information.
Often hackers will look to disguise fraudulent addresses with shortened links, hiding the URL. In these case there are a number of sites which can be utilised to double-check the destination. Sites like http://wheredoesthislinkgo.com/ can do this by simply copy and pasting the link into the search-bar on the website.
It is important to keep your personal and financial information safe when browsing online services and emails. To keep your details safe you need to look out for four things:-
· ‘https://’ at the start of the address bar or a padlock icon. The ‘S’ indicates that it is a secure server and that your information will be safe. Facebook uses this.
· ‘Green Address Bar’ another indicator that some secure websites use is to turn the address bar green.
· Users should also check the page that is sharing any vouchers. Does it look genuine? Is it posting other content from that supermarket i.e. Christmas recipes or discounts? If not it may not be the real deal.
· Look out for the blue tick - Facebook and Twitter have a blue tick scheme for verified accounts. This is a handy way to verify that a page is the real deal.