In February, a scam surfaced that alerted Netflix users their accounts had been compromised and they needed to call customer support to resolve the issue. The 800-number connected users with hackers trying to get customers’ personal information — a practice known as phishing — as well as attempting to search victims’ computers using remote-access software.
The Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado recently issued a warning to consumers about the scam, saying you should never allow a company to remotely log in to your computers. Before the scammers get that far, people should be on alert for red flags like unusual URLs, and double-check customer service lines before calling them. For example, the phony security alert and customer service number appear on a fake Netflix page, and a simple Web search reveals the true customer service hotline, which didn’t match the number posted to the fake page.
Netflix is aware of the scam and said the dummy site has been taken down, according to a CBS New York story about the release from the BBB. Of course, just because one site has been shut down doesn’t mean the hackers can’t fashion a new one.
Hackers, Hackers, Everywhere
Are you tired of hearing warnings about Internet scams? Of course you are, but that doesn’t change the fact that we continue to live more of our lives on digital platforms and put ourselves at risk for identity theft. It’s a reality of the way we live now — just look at the Heartbleed bug, which touched pretty much everyone but people who live in doomsday bunkers (or something along those lines).
You need to be aware of people trying to take advantage of your tendency to want to move quickly and click through emails and social media without a second thought. But perhaps more important than keeping an eye out for scams is the need to closely monitor your online accounts. You’re not going to catch every hacker or credit card skimmer, so watch your bank accounts for suspicious transactions, make sure your email and social media accounts aren’t spewing spam, and regularly check in on the more sensitive stuff, like your credit reports and credit scores.
If someone gets a hold of your Social Security number, for instance, they could open fraudulent accounts in your name, and those won’t show up in routine checks of your bank account balances. You should request your free annual credit reports and check them for anything unusual, and you can also use credit scores, which you can get for free with a Credit.com account, to watch out for signs of fraud, like a sudden drop in your scores.
More on Identity Theft:
- 3 Dumb Things You Can Do With Email
- How Can You Tell If Your Identity Has Been Stolen?
- What Should I Do If I’m a Victim of Identity Theft?
Image: Junghee Choi