Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of people are spending more time at home, and streaming services have become more popular than ever. But the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning people of a scam that could take money out of your bank account.
The BBB says it has received numerous reports of people receiving a text message offering them a free year of Netflix.
The message says something along the line of: “Due to the pandemic, Netflix is offering everyone a free year of service to help you while staying at home. Click the link to sign up.” If you click on it, you will be redirected to a site to fill out personal information and add a payment method.
The BBB is warning people to NOT follow through. The site is not run by Netflix, and if you add payment information, you may be charged for services that you’ll never receive because the scammer has nothing to do with the streaming company.
One victim told BBB Scam Tracker that scammers charged their credit card repeatedly – even after they asked for a refund.
“They [scammers] said no other money would be taken out of my account again,” the victim reported. “Then, about a week later, they took $39.99, so I called and asked for a refund. They told me 3 days at first. Then, after 3 days I called back, and they told me 7-10 business days. It’s been 10 business days. And now I have no refund.”
The bureau says as a general rule, companies can’t send you text messages unless you opt in to receive them.
If you receive a text message from a company you haven’t given permission to contact you in this way, proceed with caution. In fact, any unsolicited text message should be considered potential fraud.