The Netflix Text Message Scam

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If you have received a text message claiming to be from Netflix, and telling you that “We have a new policy in place, please visit and review today”, along with a link and, possibly, a random set of characters in parenthesis such as “(ybpldcjyop)”, it is definitely a scam, do NOT click on it! The text message may also appear to come from phone number 141-010-0001 or just 410100001, but even if it comes from another number, it is definitely a scam.

The URLs (links) that accompany these messages are clearly not Netflix links, but they may be cloaked in such a way that it’s difficult to tell. That is because the structure of the links looks something like this:

“http://netflix-eipaehvfmh.cicegimbenim.com”


 

“http://netflix-vcgxjwvjqn.cicegimbenim.com”

The scammers are counting on the fact (or hope) that on your tiny phone screen, you will only be able to see this much of it:

“http://netflix…”

And that even if you see more of the link, you’ll be concerned enough about your Netflix account that you will ignore the red flags, and click on the link.

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The Netflix Text Message Scam

The website cicegimbenim.com is actually the site for a flower shop in Ankara, Turkey, which suggests that either their site was hacked to include the scammer’s setup, or their DNS has been hacked to make that URL resolve to the scammer’s setup.

Other variations of the message reported by recipients include this:

We know you're sick of ads on websites. But we still need to pay to keep the lights on for you. So instead of huge ads and video ads, we use smaller, plainer ads. Still, if you'd like to support the Internet Patrol but not the ads, please consider supporting us here:
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Other Amount:

FRM:opploezqsfjnikr
SUBJ:rufzldzkzm
MSG:We have a new policy in place, please visit and review today: netflix-aqfrwgcafq.cicegimbenim[dot]com

Note the FRM and SUBJ lines. How the message appears on your smartphone will depend in part on what phone you have, and who your carrier is, but they will all have in common the text “We have a new policy in place, please visit and review today,” or something very similar.

So what should you do if you receive this message? Actually, it’s what you should not do, which is don’t click on it!

And if you can (depending on your phone and software) completely delete it.

Thanks to Internet Patrol reader Elise for providing these samples!

  
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The Netflix Text Message Scam

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4 Replies to “The Netflix Text Message Scam”

  1. OK i read your article, but what if i did click the link, what do i need to do now, I didn’t fill out any forms or reply, I just exited the link and called Netflix. They indicated that it was a scam.
    Please HELP
    Steve

    1. I don’t think it’ll do anything if you didn’t provide any info. I got one today from “NETFLIX” saying I tried cancelling my account and to fix it by clicking the link. Just before that I got one for a “ BELL” refund. Last week I got one from “PC OPTIMUM” saying I was going to lose my points etc. The optimum link I hit but didn’t provide info, closed out and deleted message and nothing has happened.

  2. Great article, Anne, I always learn from your posts — maybe more than intended here as I’m not a Netflix subscriber. I was unaware that DNS numbers could be hacked — not directly anyway — is that real and maybe emerging concern, these days?

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