No, Netflix is not offering free passes during the coronavirus pandemic

A new scam is going around social media trying to convince users that streaming service Netflix is giving away free accounts during the COVID19 pandemic.



For millions of people around the world who are staying home during the coronavirus pandemic, streaming shows and movies is the go-to pastime. Cyber crooks and scammers are also fully aware of this and will try their best to take advantage of the situation. Just like they have already taken advantage of the worry and panic people are feeling over the coronavirus.

Multiple users have reported receiving text and WhatsApp messages claiming that Netflix is offering free passes because of the worldwide COVID19 pandemic.

“Due to the CoronaVirus pandemic worldwide, Netflix is giving some free pass for their platform during the period of isolation. Run on the site cause it will end quick,” the message reads.


Source: Twitter (via Business Insider)

Users may also be redirected to sites advertising this scam. As is the case with many similar scams, there may be multiple comments from alleged winners saying that they were able to create a working account. The comments are obviously fake, and just serve to convince users that the whole thing is legitimate.

The domain included in the message is netflix-usa[.]net, which appears real enough for some people to fall for it. Those who click on the provided link are taken to a website imitating a legitimate Netflix one, and are asked to answer a few questions about the coronavirus. No matter the answers, users are informed that they have won a free subscription. All they supposedly have to do is share the link with 10 people via WhatsApp and create their account.

The message itself raises a few questions, and the bad grammar doesn’t exactly do the scam any favours. Unfortunately, there are many people who may not read the message fully and jump to the chance to get a free account without second thought.

The aim of the whole scam is not fully clear but it’s likely that scammers are targeting user data. When creating the accounts, users are asked to provide their personal information, such as names and email addresses. The info will likely be used to send spam and try to scam users further.

Some services, particularly pornography sites, are offering free accounts, but Netflix is not one of them. Netflix’s spokesperson has confirmed to BusinessInsider that the streaming giant is not involved in this campaign, nor do their offer free passes. And if they were to offer free access to their services, they would announce on official channels, such as their social media, certainly not through messages in WhatsApp.