netflix
[Photo via Unsplsh/Thibault Penin]

With something for pretty much everybody, it’s no wonder Netflix secured a total of 158 million subscribers in the third quarter. While those numbers are clearly impressive, increased competition with new services such as HBO Max and Disney+ as well as a number of other undisclosed reasons has had some people canceling their accounts.

New reports are surfacing that those who have recently canceled began accruing monthly charges from the streaming service again. Hackers were able to access the deactivated accounts and reinstate them without ever needing the former users’ banking information. They just had to log in.

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Netflix holds out hope that former users will want to rejoin the service, so it keeps their account information for 10 months after deactivation, according to a new BBC report. Within that stored information is the user’s billing details, which made it all the easier for hackers to access the accounts.

BBC spoke with users who experienced the new charges including Emily Keen who canceled in April and started getting charged again in September.

“I tried to log in to my account, but it said my email and password had not been recognized,” Keen states. “It turns out the criminals had changed my login details completely and had signed me up for the most expensive service.”

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Keen filed a report with Netflix who refunded the charges and blocked her card. However, Keen states the service charged her again in October and November and refunded only part of those fees.

A similar thing happened to Twitter user Joshua Torrey who first started discussing the issues in September.

“Canceled @netflix last month. Someone logged on from an international account in the past forty eight hours and resumed that account,” Torrey begind in a Twitter thread. “They charged it to our account and card. This is beyond acceptable from them and their security.”

“Get this, I can’t remove my card from the month of month subscription! How convenient!” Torrey continues. “So @netflix has my card locked down as lock as international people continue to crack my password and log in! Because they won’t add a simple card removal option. We wouldn’t want to display basic undergrad coding options.

“Let this sink in, someone reactivate my @netflix account. But they won’t let me cancel and de-link my card from the account. This permits people to reactivate my account and charge my card.

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“The short end of this is that @netflix will be hearing from my bank and likely a lawyer starting tomorrow. Because despite my account being canceled my credit card information is still accessible and readily consumed.”

Torrey then shared difficulties with trying to reset the password on the deactivated account.

“This SEEMS to be my @netflix password being changed every time I cancel my account. Confirmed. Changed a second time. My @netflix password was changed moments after I changed it. Spot the difference people.”

Keen and Torrey aren’t alone as several others have expressed similar issues.

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Netflix told BBC that they’ll delete the stored billing information at the request of users. The service hasn’t publicly addressed the hacks, but it did provide a statement to Business Insider on the importance of security.

“The safety of our members’ accounts is a top priority for us, and we are always working to improve this,” the Netlix spokesperson says. “We use a variety of measures to protect our members, notifying users to change their password when suspicious activity is detected, and when there is a sign-in to their account on a new device. If a member notices any unusual activity on their account, they should contact us immediately.”

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