Netflix users have been reporting that they’ve been receiving emails claiming that their accounts have been cancelled – or, more specifically ‘canceled’. However, In the world of phishing scams and spam email, nothing is as it seems.

These emails are counterfeit. They aren’t from Netflix and all and they have come from cyber criminals phishing for your personal details.

When scammers hijack a brand’s identity it can be hard to tell what’s spam and what isn’t. The aim of these messages is for an unsuspecting target to click through from the email to a malicious link and, when they think they’re solving a problem with their Netflix account, they are in fact handing private information over to cyber criminals.

Netflix have released some helpful information on this spate of spam emails. The full advice can be found via the help page of their website.

Netflix isn’t the first company to have fallen foul of these brand hijacking scams. But, how can you tell a phishing scam from a genuine email?

1 – Check the domain of the email.
Almost any modern company will be using company email domains, (the section after the @ symbol in their email address) eg ‘@netflix.co.uk’. If the sender is claiming to be from Netflix, but is sending from @hotmail.com, you can pretty much dismiss that immediately.
However, this isn’t the only indicator. Especially as cyber criminals have ways of making even the domain of their email addresses appear correct.

2 – Spelling errors
Legitimate companies (almost) never make spelling errors in work correspondence. From this Netflix example, we can see that there are multiple spelling errors. Each of which is enough to make you suspicious.

3 – Search externally for links supplied in the email
Another top tip is to avoid links contained within emails. By opening your browser separately and going directly to the genuine address of the business in question you should be able to find the page the email is claiming to link you to. If not, it’s probably a scam.

To avoid potential fraudsters even getting as far as your inbox, we recommend utilising an advanced spam filter. MailCleaner is an Open Source spam filter appliance gateway. By utilising our system you are arming yourself with an effective way to protect all your email mailboxes against spam and phishing scams, easy to install, ensuring perfect data privacy, free and of “Swiss made” quality.

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