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Email promotion is not always what it appears

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Column by Cathy Williamson

By Cathy Williamson

Scammers always are looking for new opportunities to scam people out of their personal information. In one of the latest scams, fake emails are going out, targeting Netflix subscribers.

The phishing email leads users to a fake webpage that resembles the Netflix login page. Netflix users enter their account login information and the fake webpage claims the user’s account has been suspended. A fake customer service number is provided and a “representative” recommends the user download the “Netflix support software,” which is remote login software that gives the scam artist full access to the user’s computer.

Scam artists often use reputable businesses to take advantage of consumers.

There are three things consumers can look out for in this email. First, the phone number is not Netflix. Instead, the number belongs to a call center in India. Second, the webpage is a popup. Third, the “representative” wants to login to your computer via remote software. 

Here are some tips on how to avoid this scam and others like it:

  • Never let someone login to your computer remotely. When someone logs in, they can do anything you can do on your computer. They can access anything including personal and financial information. 
  • Do not click links in emails. It is better to type the address in the search bar manually.
  • If the URL seems odd, do not continue to go to the site. If it is a scam, it will most likely have an unusual URL. It likely will contain a common name but be accompanied by some jumbled letters or numbers.
  • Always look up the company’s phone number on its website. If you need to call a company, look up its official website. This can make sure that you are calling a legitimate number.

For more advice on scams, visit www.bbb.org or call 1-800-388-2222.

Cathy Williamson is manager of the Lincoln Trail Area branch of the Better Business Bureau. She can be reached at 270-982-1289 or cwilliamson@bbbkyin.org.