How to spot phishing campaigns like "Your Netflix Membership Has Expired"

Also Known As: Your Netflix Membership Has Expired phishing scam
Damage level: Medium

What is "Your Netflix Membership Has Expired"?

Our analysis has shown that this email is crafted by scammers who aim to trick recipients into divulging personal information. Such fraudulent emails fall into the category of phishing attempts, and it is imperative that recipients exercise caution and refrain from engaging with them.

Your Netflix Membership Has Expired email spam campaign

More about the "Your Netflix Membership Has Expired" scam email

This phishing email adopts a deceptive tone, claiming to be from Netflix and asserting that the recipient's membership has expired. It attempts to lure the recipient into action by offering a supposed 90-day extension as part of a loyalty program.

In order to proceed with the extension, the email instructs the recipient to click on a provided link and insert their credit card details for the alleged validation of their Netflix ID. The email assures that no amount will be withdrawn. However, it is important to note that this is a classic phishing attempt.

During our examination, the website (that gets opened after clicking the "Extend for Free" button) promoted via this phishing email was down. However, there is a high chance that scammers behind this email aim to extract personal information like login credentials and (or) credit card details from unsuspecting recipients.

With stolen login credentials, they may access the victim's accounts, compromising personal and sensitive data stored within those accounts. This could include personal information, emails, financial records, and more. Scammers often use this data for unauthorized transactions, fraud, or even to impersonate the victim for further illicit activities.

Scammers can engage in fraudulent transactions, make unauthorized purchases, or sell compromised information on the dark web when armed with stolen credit card details. The stolen credit card data may be used to make online transactions, leading to financial losses for the cardholder.

It is crucial for individuals to promptly report any suspected unauthorized access or transactions and take preventive measures such as changing passwords and monitoring financial statements regularly to mitigate the impact of such scams.

Threat Summary:
Name Your Netflix Membership Has Expired Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipient's Netflix membership has expired
Disguise Letter from Netflix
Symptoms Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of the computer.
Distribution methods Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Similar scam emails in general

Emails of this kind share common characteristics indicative of phishing attempts. They typically employ urgent language or alarming subject lines, creating a sense of urgency to prompt immediate action. Moreover, they often contain deceptive elements such as fake logos, official-sounding language, and a request for sensitive information, like login credentials or credit card details.

These phishing emails often create a sense of familiarity by impersonating reputable organizations, urging recipients to click on links that redirect them to fraudulent websites designed to collect personal information. Links and files within such emails can also be used to trick users into infecting their computers.

Examples of phishing campaigns are "Review These Messages Email Scam", "DHL - Incoming Shipment Notification", and "Truist Online Banking Profile".

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Emails used to distribute malware contain malicious attachments or links that, when opened or clicked, can deploy malware onto the user's system. This malware can take various forms, including viruses, ransomware, spyware, or trojan horses, each designed to compromise the security of the user's computer.

Cybercriminals often use various file types to distribute malware via email, with common formats including malicious attachments like executable files (.exe), Microsoft Office documents (.doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx), JavaScript files (.js), and compressed archives (.zip, .rar).

How to avoid installation of malware?

Exercise caution with email communications, avoiding opening attachments or clicking on links from unknown or unexpected sources. Be careful while browsing and avoid clicking pop-up ads or links on suspicious websites. Refrain from downloading software or files from untrustworthy websites and only use reputable sources (official pages and app stores) for their downloads.

Regularly update the operating system, antivirus software, and applications to patch known vulnerabilities and enhance overall system security. If you have already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Your Netflix Membership Has Expired" email letter:

Subject: Your Netflix Membership has Expired

Your Netflix Membership has Expired


Dear customer,

Your membership has expired

But, as part of our loyalty program, you can now extend for 90 days for free.
Enjoy Unlimited movies, TV shows, and more. Ready to watch? Extend your membership.

Extend for Free

After signing up, you have to insert your credit card details for validation of your Netflix ID.
We will not withdraw any amount.

Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved.

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Quick menu:

Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing Emails

Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.

Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.

After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.

Email-virus icon Emails with Malicious Attachments

Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.

In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.

If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.

While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.

To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.

How to spot a malicious email?

While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:

  • Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
  • Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
  • Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
  • Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.

To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows

Example of a spam email:

Example of an email spam

What to do if you fell for an email scam?

  • If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
  • If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
  • If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
  • If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
  • Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did I receive this email?

Receiving a phishing email can occur for various reasons, often stemming from the widespread and indiscriminate targeting practices employed by cybercriminals. These phishing campaigns are typically executed on a large scale with the aim of reaching a broad range of potential victims.

I have provided my personal information when tricked by this email, what should I do?

Change your passwords for the affected accounts to regain control and prevent unauthorized access. Contact your bank or credit card provider to report the incident, dispute any unauthorized transactions, and request a card replacement if necessary. Stay vigilant for any signs of identity theft or fraudulent activity, and consider enabling two-factor authentication on your accounts for enhanced security.

I have downloaded and opened a malicious file attached to an email, is my computer infected?

Downloading and opening a malicious file attached to an email does pose a risk of computer infection, but it is not guaranteed. Whether your computer is compromised depends on the type of the file. For instance, if the file was an executable, the risk of infection is high. However, if it was a document (such as .pdf or .doc), there's a chance you may have avoided infection.

I have read the email but did not open the attachment, is my computer infected?

No, simply opening an email poses no harm by itself. However, clicking links within the email or opening attached files can lead to system infections.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in email attachment?

Certainly, Combo Cleaner is equipped to identify and remove nearly all known malware infections. Advanced malware may be deeply embedded in the system, making a full scan imperative for effective detection and removal.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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