No, Netflix is not offering free subscriptions

Text message offer is an attempt to steal your sensitive information, run up your credit card, BBB warns

SAN ANTONIO – Free Netflix for a year may sound good, but that text message offer with the link is a trick to steal your personal information, the Better Business Bureau warns.

Netflix has become a pandemic pastime. The need to chill at home created a prime-time opportunity for a tempting text message that making the rounds.

One version reads, “Due to the pandemic, Netflix is giving everyone a free 1-year subscription to help you stay at home.”

“They always sound good,” said Jason Meza, regional director for BBB.

It’s too good. The BBB warns it’s a scam. Clicking on the link will not lead to free Netflix, but it may cost you because it takes you to a fake page that asks for your sensitive information.

One victim told the BBB Scam Tracker his credit card was charged even after he canceled the bogus offer.

The real Netflix page warns of fake tests and emails, saying it will never ask for credit or debit card numbers, bank account information or your password.

“As a general rule, companies won’t send you a text message if you haven’t opted in, if you’re not already a customer and given authorization,” Meza said.

To protect yourself, he advises you don’t trust every text. Go directly to the source, in this case, Netflix, to find information or ask questions. And, don’t click on unsolicited links.

“The best thing to do is simply delete, ignore, run the other way,” he said. “Don’t respond.”

Even replying “STOP” OR “CANCEL” to a phishing scheme only lets them know the account is active and invites more potential fraud, Meza said.

If you do click on the link, Netflix recommends you change your password to something unique to that account.

About the Authors

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.

Luis Cienfuegos is a photographer at KSAT 12.

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