‘Stranger scams’: Public warned of ‘Stranger Things’-related scams online

July 27, 2022 - 7:06 PM
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Screenshot to the "Stranger Things" scam featuring a still from the series. (Kaspersky/Released)

Fans of “Stranger Things” were advised to be on the lookout for scammers who take advantage of the success of the popular Netflix series.

Cybersecurity company Kaspersky reported finding numerous examples of spam emails and phishing pages designed to steal the money of fans who want to see new episodes of “Stranger Things” as soon as possible and those who refuse to pay for a subscription to a streaming service.

Screenshot of the scam. (Kaspersky/Released)

The chance to “watch the new episodes for only $1 (PHP 56),”  was advertised to consumers by cybercriminals. However, to get this offer, users were asked to register to a new account and fill out the information for their address and bank cards. 

Scammers then would drain the victims’ wallets without giving them access to the newest episode of their favorite series.

Additionally, spam emails that sell products of dubious quality and are sent through promotional emails without the recipient’s permission have been found by the cybersecurity firm’s experts.

“As we know, where there is audience demand, scammers will always try to cash in,” said Olga Svistunova, security expert at Kaspersky.

“The danger for users remains as urgent as ever. Fans need to be careful as trying to save money on a streaming service subscription can lead to them losing much more than they could ever save,” the security expert warned.

Ways to avoid falling victim to scams

The cybersecurity firm advised the following measures to follow  to avoid being a victim of such scams:

  • Avoid links promising early viewings of films or TV series. If you have any doubts about the authenticity of the content, check with your entertainment provider
  • Check the authenticity of the website before entering personal data, and only use official, trusted web pages to watch or download movies. Double-check URL formats and company name spellings
  • Pay attention to the extensions of the files you are downloading. A video file will never have a .exe or .msi extension
  • Use a reliable security solution, such as Kaspersky Security Cloud, that identifies malicious attachments and blocks phishing sites

The first set of “Stranger Things’s” most awaited season 4 was released in May, this year. The second set, meanwhile, was released early this month.

The season, which had been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic for nearly three years, once again topped streaming charts.