Identified Scam:

Free Netflix for a Year: Don't Believe the Hype, It's a Scam

Netflix has never offered a free subscription for an entire year. If you receive this offer from "Netflix," it's a scam.


Verified.org
Updated 29 August 2022
Free Netflix for a Year: Don't Believe the Hype, It's a Scam
Identified Scam:
Key Finding

Scammers offer free Netflix for a year, asking you to fill in your personal and credit card information to claim the deal.


Key Risk

The scammers will use your information to steal your identity and money. 

Sections on this page
  1. What is the Free Netflix for a Year Scam?
  2. How to Beat this Netflix Subscription Scam
  3. Red Flags of Netflix Free for a Year Scams
  4. What to Do if You Fall for the Scam
  5. Netflix Plans
  6. Frequently Asked Questions

As one of the leading streaming services, Netflix has 207 million paid subscribers worldwide. Unfortunately, its popularity also makes it a target for scams. The key thing to remember here is that Netflix is not offering free subscriptions for a year. If you get an offer for free Netflix for a year, it's a scam.

What is the Free Netflix for a Year Scam?

This scam entices victims with the prospect of free access to the streaming service for a full 12 months. Here's how the scam works.

You Receive a Message about Free Netflix Offers

Scammers take advantage of multiple communication methods to reach their victims. They can contact you via:

  • Email: You'll receive an email explaining you've been selected from among thousands to qualify for a free subscription to Netflix for an entire year.
  • Text: During the COVID-19 pandemic, these fake Netflix texts claimed free one-year subscriptions were being offered to "help you stay at home."
  • Google Calendar: You'll find an unsolicited event pop up in your Google Calendar, with a notification asking you to take a survey to qualify for a free Netflix subscription.
Example Scam Message

Due to the pandemic, Netflix is giving everyone a free 1-year subscription to help you stay at home. Get yours here cu19w.com/doljW061xl

Scammers are well aware that more people are spending time at home these days, so the prospect of a free subscription to Netflix is more tempting than ever. In this classic example, the scammer uses the pandemic to convince you that Netflix is offering you a one-year free subscription.

Example text message from Netflix scammer
This scam became extremely common in 2020, with scammers using the pandemic to trick users. (Source: WFMY)

Since the pandemic is nowhere near how it was in 2020, scammers will likely change the wording to be more relevant.

The following example uses strange wording, lousy grammar, and banks on the unsuspecting user who wants to cash in on a "limited offer." The scammer is also mimicking Netflix's actual graphics to appear legitimate.

Example of free Netflix email
Look for typos, misspellings, and poor grammar to identify a fake Netflix email. (Source: LoveMoney.com)

In the final example, the scammer targets a user's Google Calendar. Note that the sender has a long email address with no connection to Netflix, and the link provided does not lead to the official Netflix.com site.

Example free Netflix scam Google invite
Netflix will never send a Google Calendar invitation to communicate with you. (Source: Twitter)

You Click the Link to Claim a Free Netflix Account

The scammer provides a link in all the above versions of this scam, inviting you to either take a survey or claim the offer.

The link on the email leads to a page where you'll be asked to fill out your personal information, including your Netflix account information and credit card details. Since the free trial seems like a good deal (who wouldn't want to watch Netflix for free?), you enter your information.

Your Passwords and Financial Information Are Compromised

The scammers now have access to your Netflix password, but they didn't go through all this trouble to watch Netflix for free from your account. With your Netflix login, they will have access to your saved bank or credit card information. As a result, your financial accounts (and money) may be compromised, and you could be extremely vulnerable to identity theft. In addition, you may notice changes to your Netflix account, and of course, you will not receive the promised free year of Netflix.

The scammer's promise to help you save money and access Netflix for free was a lie, all to get you to share your sensitive information.

How to Beat this Netflix Subscription Scam

If the idea of a free year of Netflix has ever sounded good to you, you might consider clicking the link. However, Netflix is not currently offering any deals—if it did, it would not do so via email, text, or Google Calendar invite.

The best way to beat this scam is to never click on links in emails, texts, or Google Calendar invites from Netflix that promise free subscriptions. If you click on the link, do not enter personal information.

Block the Sender

Do not respond to emails or text messages advertising a free year of Netflix. If you respond to a text message, that confirms to a scammer that your phone number is active. Block the number or email address so they won't be able to send you messages in the future.

Change Your Google Calendar Settings

Open your Google Calendar settings. Choose "Event Settings" and switch the option for "Automatically add invitations" to "No." That way, scammers will not be able to add unsolicited invitations to your calendar.

Netflix Doesn't Offer Free Subscriptions

Netflix doesn't offer free subscriptions for a year or free trials. If you receive any of these offers from someone claiming to be from Netflix, you can be sure it's a scam.

Red Flags of Netflix Free for a Year Scams

Once you know what to look for, you can easily identify this scam. Some common red flags of this scam include:

  • Unsolicited text messages from Netflix
  • An offer for a free subscription from Netflix
  • A message containing a link inviting you to take a survey or enter your information
  • Grammatical errors
  • An email from a non-Netflix account
  • Unsolicited events in your calendar
  • The link provided in the message leads to a website that's not connected to Netflix
  • Requests via text or email for you to share your personal or financial information

What to Do if You Fall for the Scam

Don't feel bad if you've fallen for this Netflix subscription scam—you're not the only one. What's important is that you act quickly once you've given the scammer your details. Take these steps immediately to limit the damage to your personal and financial information:

  • Change your Netflix password.
  • Check your computer/device for viruses and malware.
  • Report the scam to Netflix by emailing [email protected]om.
    • If your email is rejected when you forward it, that means Netflix has already received a copy of the message from someone else.
  • Contact your financial institution if you believe a scammer has stolen your credit or debit card information.
  • Report the scam to the authorities.
  • Regularly monitor your accounts for suspicious activity, including your:
    • Emails
    • Bank accounts
    • Online accounts that share the same password

Netflix Plans

As of July 2022, Netflix offers the following plans. Free trials are not available for any of these.

  Basic Standard Premium
Monthly Cost $9.99 $15.49 $19.99
Video Quality Good Better Best
Resolution Standard (480p) Full HD (1080p) 4K+HDR
# of Devices 1 2 4

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Netflix have chances to win a free subscription for a year?

No. Netflix has never offered a free subscription for a year. In fact, Netflix doesn't even offer free trials. 

How do I spot a scam email or text message?

Check for red flags of scams, such as the sender's email not coming from Netflix, typos, bad grammar, and blurry images. Any message claiming to be from Netflix offering a free trial should be treated with caution.

Do other companies offer free Netflix subscriptions?

There may be other companies from time to time that offer free Netflix, whether as an add-on to a different service or via a competition. For example, T-Mobile offers cell phone plans that include a free subscription to the streaming service.

How can I get free subscriptions to streaming services?

Various companies offer free streaming services. For example, T-Mobile offers free subscriptions to Netflix with eligible plans, and AT&T offers free HBO Max with eligible services.

There are also streaming services that don't have a monthly subscription cost (e.g., FreeVee, Peacock) that offer both free content and paid content.

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