Why are you getting a free Netflix account message related to COVID-19?

A cyber security awareness firm is alerting tech users about a fraudulent campaign involving alleged free Netflix accounts as a way to incentivize people to stay in their homes due to coronavirus/COVID-19. In multiple Facebook posts and forwarded WhatsApp messages, users are invited to act fast to get the benefit.

“Due to the global pandemic by Coronavirus, Netflix is providing some passes to use the service for free during this period of isolation. Quickly go to this site, as the offer will be over soon,” mentions one of the many messages that have been circulating. Those responsible for this campaign have posted messages in English and Spanish.

In their report, cyber security awareness specialists report that unsuspecting users who fall into the trap are redirected to a website called “netflix-usa.net”, registered just a week ago. Needless to say, this site does not belong to the streaming service, although it has a legitimate appearance.

The threat actors behind this scam took the time to design a site capable of tricking users, as they even posted a form asking victims about their ways of dealing with the pandemic. Upon completing the form, the site asks the victim to share the message with ten of their contacts to receive the free pass.

According to cyber security awareness experts, cybercriminals are looking for additional personal data of victims to deploy subsequent attacks. Malicious code injection is also one of the risks users are exposed to.

This is too good to be true. Under the current circumstances, many sites may offer you free access to multiple paid services, unfortunately Netflix is not one of these sites. Users may start receiving similar messages in the following days or weeks; the best security practice in the face of these attacks is to ignore such messages and try not to forward them to your contacts. The International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) also recommends verifying the security of websites, as many times hackers manage to bring malicious sites very similar to legitimate ones online. A website’s security review takes just a few seconds, and can prevent huge damage.