COVID-19: No, Netflix, Amazon Aren’t Offering Free Subscriptions
As the COVID-19 pandemic intensifies across India and the world, several organisations have stepped forward to offer free services and subscriptions to help people cope with social distancing and self-isolation.
Several links on WhatsApp and Twitter started doing the rounds, claiming streaming platforms Netflix and Amazon Prime are offering their subscriptions for free till ‘April 31’.
The website, www.netflix-usa.net, says ‘Free Netflix during quarantine’ and adds “during COVID-19 pandemic, we are giving away totally free access to our platform for the period of isolation, until the virus is contained.”
TRUE OR FALSE?
Contrary to the claims, the website does not belong to Netflix. The streaming platform is available only on netflix.com. The tab thumbnail, however, is identical to the genuine site and bears the red ‘N’ symbol.
WHAT WE FOUND
The URL ‘netflix-usa.net’ is fake and intended to deceive users.
The Quint contacted Netflix India regarding the claims made by the website. A senior official confirmed that the subscription rates of Netflix have not changed during the COVID-19 lockdown and remain the same.
The site redirects to a spam site which may contain malicious code that may infect an individual’s system or attempt to steal information from it.
A number of key differences make it easy to tell it apart from the actual website as well as reveal the dubious nature of the claim.
- A look at the domain registration on WHOIS reveals that website was created only on 18 March.
- The ANI tweet, which was posted on 24 March and has been retweeted 1.9K times and has 6K likes, claims the limited offer will last only till 31 April. April has 30 days.
- ‘Netflix-usa.net’ is not the official Netflix site.
- On the website, netflix-usa.net, the comments section is static and clicking anywhere redirects the user to a new page away from the site.
- There have been no announcements on either Netflix or Amazon Prime’s official handles on any social platform regarding an offer of this nature.
The only change Netflix and Amazon have announced is that they will be reducing their video streaming quality in order to cope with the sharp spike in demand during this period.
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