The phrase “don’t believe everything you see on the internet” has come into play again, as the consumer watchdog revealed a new streaming platform was actually a sophisticated scam.
This week, an advertisement on Facebook declared droves of Australians had made the switch from Netflix to the newly created MovieFlix.
The ad then links to an article on a fake news website, dated barely a week ago, that tells readers how good the service is, offers Facebook comments from happy customers, and even includes a “still” from a news bulletin. It then prompts people to sign up – using their credit card details.
It was picked up by Western Australia’s consumer protection department, then by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch team.
The ACCC confirmed to AAP that it had received several reports that people had fallen prey to the scam, and handed over their details.
It is a website that has done the rounds overseas before hitting Australia, including in Europe, the US and Canada. It has also been spotted in New Zealand.
A Netflix spokeswoman told AAP internet scammers often targeted popular brands with large customer bases, to lure users into giving out personal information.