Scamwatch: Netflix hack attack

Use Netflix or Facebook? Has your account been hacked.

hacker with laptop

Stay one step ahead of the fraudsters with our series of articles giving you the lowdown on the scams they use to trick people out of their hard-earned cash - and how to avoid being taken in by them.

This week, we look at how hackers are forcing companies such as Netflix and Facebook to ask users to rest their passwords.

How does it work?

Savvy consumers know that unsolicited emails and messages asking them to change their login details are often sent by scammers trying to access their accounts.

However, some password reset messages are genuine, as is the case with those being sent out by companies such as Netflix and Facebook at the moment.

The companies are having to ask customers to change their login details due to being targeted by hackers who are even thought to have gained access to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's Twitter and Instagram accounts.

How can I avoid being caught out?

To reduce your chances of being hacked, it is sensible to use a unique password for each online account.

This will prevent scammers from reusing the same email and password combination should your login information be leaked online.

Rather than picking a memorable word such as your mother's maiden name as your password, security experts also advice taking the first letter of each word in your favourite song lyric or poem, for example, and using what to others will appear a random jumble of characters.

I've been defrauded. What should I do?

If you are caught out by a scam linked to a service such as Netflix, report the incident to the company so that it can take action to prevent other people being taken in.

You should also report it to Action Fraud (0300 123 2040) and change any passwords and log in details that may have been compromised.

If, meanwhile, you receive a password reset message from an online service, check it is genuine before replying.

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