Fact Check

Netflix Scam Claims 'Billing Issues,' Offers Account 'Recovery'

"Your account is on hold" messages have been sent to users who don't even have Netflix accounts.

Published April 14, 2023

 (Facebook)
Image courtesy of Facebook
Claim:
Netflix sent users messages claiming there were "billing issues" with their accounts and that the accounts needed to be "recovered."

Many social media users have posted screenshots of scam Netflix text messages that claim the user has "billing issues." While many of the posts were from March or April 2023, we found one TikTok post about the scam from January 2023.

The messages that users posted claimed that their Netflix membership needed to be recovered or had been placed on hold due to issues with their billing information. The message was signed "Netflix Services," and contained a link that claimed to allow users to update their billing information. However, these messages were not authentic, did not come from Netflix, nor did the links in them go to a legitimate Netflix URL.

We found posts written by people who had received the scam notification on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and TikTok. Twitter users also said they had gotten the same scam, but through an email. Other users on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit shared a screenshot of the scam and said that they didn't even have a Netflix account.

Several local law enforcement agency posted about the scam on Facebook as well.

The links in these text messages may look legitimate, but they are actually fake links operated by scammers to obtain personal information. If you receive one of these messages, we recommend that you delete the text without clicking the link, and log into Netflix via your normal procedure and make sure the payment information for your account is in order, if you have one. 

We've previously reported about Netflix text message scams that use payment issues as a reason to click a suspicious link. We found different versions of the scam that spread on social media in 2019, 2020, and 2022. 

Netflix's website contains a page about suspicious emails or text messages that appear to come from the company. The page says that Netflix will never ask for personal information like bank account details or Netflix passwords in emails or text messages. 

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission wrote a guide about how to report spam text messages. The webpage said scammers might claim there's issues with your payment information, like the text messages claim, and that you shouldn't click on any links if you receive the messages.

The Better Business Bureau also wrote a guide about spotting the red flags of fake text messages. Their guide said not to trust any unsolicited messages, and to watch out for any suspicious links.

Sources

"BBB Tip: Know the Red Flags of Phony Text Message." International Association of Better Business Bureaus, https://www.bbb.org/all/spot-a-scam/how-to-spot-a-phony-text-message. Accessed 14 Apr. 2023.

"How to Recognize and Report Spam Text Messages." Consumer Advice, 19 Feb. 2020, https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-recognize-and-report-spam-text-messages.

Liles, Jordan. "Netflix Text Message Scam Claims Payment Issue, Account 'Locked.'" Snopes, 26 May 2022, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/netflix-text-message-scam/.

"Phishing or Suspicious Emails or Texts Claiming to Be from Netflix." Help Center, https://help.netflix.com/en/node/65674. Accessed 14 Apr. 2023.

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.

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