Is Netflix Giving Away Free 1-Year Subscriptions Due to COVID-19?

Phishing scams have proliferated on the internet since the start of the pandemic.

  • Published 6 December 2020
Image via LIONEL BONAVENTURE / Contributor, Getty Images

Claim

Netflix is offering users a free one-year subscription due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Origin

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Since the start of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the United States in March 2020, a scam has been circulating on the internet falsely informing viewers that streaming giant Netflix was offering a free one-year subscription due to the pandemic.

Here’s an example of the scam we found circulating on Twitter, with the user’s name cropped out for privacy reasons:

The text of the scam read, “Due to the CoronaVirus pandemic worldwide, Netflix is ​giving some free pass for their platform during the period of isolation. Run on the site cause it will end quick!” The post also included a link, which we cropped out because it is likely a phishing site.

Netflix is making no such offer, and in fact as of October 2020, it no longer even offered temporary free trials for potential subscribers.

In other Netflix-related scams, members of the public reported receiving emails and text messages from scammers posing as Netflix representatives, telling them they need to update their accounts. The company stated it wouldn’t seek personal information, like banking or credit card numbers, in texts or emails.