DENVER (KDVR) — There’s a new push to fight scams as reports from victims are up more than 70%, according to the Federal Trade Commission. In one of the latest schemes, crooks send phony text messages in order to steal personal information from subscribers.
Brie Abrams keeps a close eye on her Netflix account, and that’s why she was shocked to receive a threatening text message saying she owed money for charges on her account.
“If I didn’t click on this link, then my account would be permanently suspended within 48 hours. It didn’t make sense to me, because I knew it was already taken out of my bank account for the month,” she said.
Abrams later learned a friend also received the message.
“She got the exact same messages, and then the other one said Amazon and Hulu, and she didn’t even have a Hulu account,” she said.
Abrams was smart to ignore the dangerous link and check out her account by going to the Netflix website address she has always used in the past.
Cyber security expert shares tips to protect yourself
Cyber security expert Brian Cather of CP Cyber told the Problem Solvers that clicking on unfamiliar links can open the door to financial ruin, because crooks are hoping you will provide them with your password, account and payment information.
“Companies won’t send unsolicited emails asking for information,” he said.
Cather added that it is important to pause before clicking links and seek information from the company directly on a trusted website or through a reliable phone number.
“If there is an issue with that type of thing, they might email you, but they’ll suggest you go straight to the website, and that’s the guidance we would echo as well,” Cather said.
Netflix and other companies are taking steps to protect customers by providing scam alert information.
For more information about how to identify scams and protect your money visit the FTC Pass It On page.
The FTC reports millennials are twice as likely to report scams, even though most scams target the elderly.