For anyone who is a movie buff or loves binge-watching series, earning money just by watching Netflix would be a dream, wouldn’t it? That’s the promise of a new scam gaining traction on YouTube.
Called “Netflix System”, the scam promises daily earnings of up to R$200 when consuming content on the streaming platform. However, it’s all really an elaborate pyramid scheme.
THE Tech world has explored how the scheme, widely used in Internet advertising, works, and shows how to identify and avoid the “miracle solutions” that appear on YouTube promising easy money.
What is the Netflix system?
If you browse YouTube without an ad blocker or a premium subscription to the service, which blocks ads, you might have come across an advertisement that promises extra income in an easy way. Clicking videos, taking photos, liking posts on Instagram: the alleged miracle solutions claim to guarantee easy money by performing simple actions on the mobile phone.
The dot of the moment is the “Netflix System”, which has recently seen a surge in searches, according to data from Google Trends. In paid ads running on YouTube, a video shows a story about Netflix’s new ad plan and how it would be a great opportunity to earn money. So, the creator of the solution, identified as “Marquinhos”, does it promises earnings of up to R$200 a day, backs up its case with comments from alleged consumers, and guarantees returns of up to R$6000.
The scam page, made in WordPress, has only one video, false reports and the buy button
A woman protagonist of the video, for example, says she bought two iPhones in a few days using simply the easy money method. “You can trust Marquinhos that it really works,” says the alleged user of the miracle solution, who doesn’t show up. On the scam page, you can also see text comments implying that everything is fine, as well as alert triggers, emphasizing that this is an exclusive offer and is about to end.
At the end of the presentation, a purchase link is made available: with payment methods by card or Pix, the user must purchase the course that teaches how to earn by watching Netflix, as well as the software that allows you to monetize the action. Being a “promotion” for a limited time, the cost is around R$ 150 to start using it.
Make money watching series? It is not so…
By purchasing the service to earn by watching series and movies, the user will have access to a service that may be familiar to anyone who works on the Internet: Honeygain. The platform is known for allowing you to earn fractions of money by opening the app on different devices, which need to run it continuously to get funds by “paying access” to online services.
In addition to having the app open on multiple devices, you also need to have a high number of referrals from new members to really make more significant earnings on the platform. And even so, nothing guarantees that you will be able to get the promised R $ 200 just by watching movies and series.
Scheme uses urgency triggers to get user to join ‘Netflix System’
This is, the “Netflix System” only resells an application that can be downloaded for free by anyone, but with a “dress” capable of attracting the attention of those who love films and series. In addition to earning from the sale of the application, the manager of the scheme can still get more money on Honeygain with the “information” of victims who have started using the platform.
In a statement sent to Tech world, Netflix has confirmed the scheme to be a scam. The company claims it has no ties to the “Netflix System,” which only uses the company name to capitalize on the popularity of the streaming service.
“We take the security of our members very seriously and take a number of proactive measures to detect fraudulent activity to protect the Netflix service and our members’ accounts.” /security.
According to Jeferson Propheta of digital security firm CrowdStrike, the “Netflix System” has characteristics that constitute a pyramid scheme. According to the expert, some users can even get money at the start, but, like any Ponzi scheme, everything can collapse at any moment.
As you can see on the Reclame Aqui platform, the “Netflix System” has already produced user complaints to the companies involved in the coup operation. The Perfect Pay payment platform, used in the final transactions, and also Honeygain itself are the main targets of dissatisfied consumers.
The Netflix system is producing complaints in Reclame Aqui
But what about Marquinhos Toledo, who “created the Netflix system”? Why doesn’t he respond to dissatisfied customers? The name that appears in the promotional video is fakeand financial information used in transactions can also be stolen, with the aim of masking the traces of who is behind the scheme.
According to Propheta, the large data leaks that have occurred in Brazil in recent years have opened gaps for this. Fraudsters can buy domains, set up websites, and create accounts on digital services simply by using information stolen from other people, which helps mask their true identities. Pix scams, for example, have been known to use orange accounts, making it difficult to track down criminals.
And the “Netflix System” is far from being the only miraculous solution to following the patterns that characterize a pyramid scam. Since we clicked on the YouTube ad, other similar recommendations have started appearing on Google’s video app, such as “Robô do Pix” and “Aplicativo do Carlinhos Maia”, both with similar propositions: make easy money with simple actions. That is, even if one head of this hydra is cut off, it is possible that several more will appear soon after.
Narrative manipulation on YouTube
While Netflix has had its name used as bait for the scheme, YouTube ends up being used extensively for dissemination of dubious services, going beyond mere advertising. If the user becomes suspicious and decides to look in the video app itself if the “Netflix System” is a scam, they may come across a video saying that the solution is reliable.
Using search optimization techniques and posts on verified channels, the owners of the scam order videos with the title “Is the Netflix system a scam?”, with the content disproving the thesis that everything is just a scam. Additionally, YouTube video comments are also positive, with reports of people allegedly making a lot of money using the solution.
In fact, it is nothing more than a purchased commitment. In the case of the Netflix system, two of the channels responsible for spreading fake videos are “Sertanejo Premium Oficial” and “GP Remix”, both verified by YouTube. With different scam validation videos posted every day, the channels feature different people, including actors from different productions, talking about various scams being boosted in YouTube ads.
Everything is meticulously calculated to try to win over people looking for extra income.
The goal is to appear frequently in searches and gain user trust by manipulating the Google and YouTube algorithm. According to Marcelo Alves, SEO analyst at NZN, the goal is to create a diffusion network to make the scam more trustworthy, using specific terms to confuse search engines.
“These verified channels or those with high user counts have more authority for Google and tend to appear at the top of searches for a long time. In addition, smaller channels are created that help spread the topic and also appear in searches”, explains the specialist. “Taking this first part of the research, the clicks are more “certain” and increase the chances of joining the shot”.
Although the video production has an amateur face to earn the trust of unsuspecting users, everything is calculated to the millimeter to try and sell the scheme to people looking for extra income. By pretending to be a consumer, the Tech world got in contact via WhatsApp with GP Remix, one of the channels that broadcasts videos with validation information from the Netflix system.
YouTube verified gospel music channel GP Remix now posts “awareness videos” on YouTube
While previously posting gospel themed videos, the publisher has recently started posting “product promotion videos”. By offering the services, the channel reveals that it costs BRL 60 to post a video with any topic, including disinformation, with a package of three publications for R $ 150. The audiovisual production, however, is at the client’s discretion. Comments that validate the service can also be purchased separately, according to the seller.
As for content that might be fake, the GP Remix manager says YouTube usually doesn’t impose restrictions on information, and so far, no videos have been removed from the platform. However, some of those involved in the schemes avoid using certain themes in order not to upset the algorithm: a list shared by a customer of the channel includes terms such as “TV Box”, “Trump Bullets” and “Steel Bite Pro”. as prohibited, as prohibited, terms already disapproved by YouTube.
TecMundo has reached out to YouTube, but the company has not yet provided an official stance on the scam as of press time. The company’s policies point out that it is forbidden to use videos with misleading information and false involvement, but the reality seems to be different.
How to avoid this type of scam?
The Netflix system and other schemes that are taking hold on YouTube recently have only one great weapon to conquer users: the power of persuasion. However, a few steps are enough to identify strange behaviors that denounce that everything happens in a coup d’état.
According to specialist Jefferson Propheta, one of the first signs of a scam is in the offer: easy money on the internet. The mere fact that someone is offering a “unique opportunity” to make a lot of money without much effort should be viewed with caution.
Even alleged user reports should be viewed with caution, after all, as the old saying goes: not everything on the Internet is true. By doing a reverse Google search of the images available on the “Netflix System” site, for example, you can see that the commenters’ photos have already been used in other similar scams and do not represent real people.
On YouTube, the ideal is to open the channel of videos that have information about scams and check if the publisher has been hacked or is selling content. Although very well produced, some videos can be fabricated to deceive users. Just like a Netflix series, anything can just be an act.
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