How to Tell the Difference Between a Call from Apple and a Phishing Scam
Millions of people use Apple’s iPhone, computers and other peripherals as part of their everyday lives. With so many people devoted to Apple and its products, it’s not surprising that scammers take advantage of this through elaborate phishing scams.
The scammers use a spoof phone number and accurate information about the company and possibly your account to get personal information, financial details or get some form of payment. People lose their identities and millions of dollars each year from phishing scams.
You can protect yourself from Apple phishing scams by knowing what to look for and how to avoid these types of calls.
What are Phishing Scams?
It’s important to know what a phishing scam is and how it’s been used over the years. A fishing attack is when a scammer pretends to be from a legitimate company and attempts to gain access to information such as a bank account and passwords or have the victim authorize payment through a fictitious company.
They’re “fishing” for information.
These types of scams have gone on for decades, but the digital age and technological advancement has made it more difficult to understand fact from fiction. Scammers set up realistic emails from legitimate companies. They can even set up fake websites that look just like the real thing.
One of the newest tricks is the ability to trick your phone into thinking the phone number comes from the legitimate company as well. Scammers trick thousands of people and businesses each year. Consequences can be a minor inconvenience or a major data breach.
In the past, scammers used companies such as PayPal, banks and other financial companies, but Apple is the latest target.
Spoof Phone Number Leads to Apple Phishing Scam
You’re sitting at home or work and suddenly your cell phone starts vibrating. You look down and it says Apple and even shows the correct number, address, etc. for the company.
You answer the phone and hear an automated message from Apple. It states there’s been a data breach or an unauthorized purchase on your account and you need to call Apple customer support right away and then rattle off a phone number.
Something doesn’t feel right, but you worry about your personal information being taken, so call the number. After a slight hold, a person answers and tells you about the data breach and how they need your information. You’ve just been scammed.
The sophistication of the Apple phone scam is such that it completely fools the Apple phone. If you’ve made other calls to Apple, it places the incoming phone call in the same column as the legitimate Apple calls.
There are ways to keep from being scammed by making sure you’re talking to the legitimate company and watching out for red flags.
Don’t Trust the Phone Number
If you receive an unsolicited phone call from any company, don’t give them personal information or don’t call the number they provide. Instead, go directly to the company’s website and call customer service directly using the phone number from the website.
Ask them if anyone has recently called your number. In the case of Apple, the customer service person provides you with a case number that can be used to verify you’re talking to an actual Apple representative.
Phone Call Creates a Sense of Urgency
Scammers know that if people have time to think about it, the phone call creates red flags and likely won’t be returned. They combat this by creating a sense of urgency that everything has to be done right now or else bad things could happen.
You panic. You don’t have the time to think about the oddity of the phone call and instead, just call. This is what they’re counting on. If a phone call from Apple creates this sense of urgency, then you’re likely being scammed.
Take your time and don’t fall for their tricks.
They Ask for Passwords Over the Phone
Passwords are some of the best-secured aspects of the Internet. Login handles and IDs are easy to get because they’re often your primary email or other easily identifying characteristics. Passwords have tight security, so people can’t access your information.
In the case of Apple, scammers want to get your Apple ID password, so they can access your account. The account has everything they need from your address to credit card information. They can see everything about you.
No company, Apple included, will ask you for your password over the phone. It’s too insecure and they should already have that information. They may ask for a name, last four numbers of social security number, etc., but never your password.
Don’t trust anyone that asks for a password over the phone. It’s a scammer that wants access to your account.
It’s All About the Numbers for Scammers
The Apple phishing scam is elaborate. Automated phone dialers make hundreds if not thousands of phone calls each day, looking for the right person to scam.
To the criminals, it’s a numbers game. If 10 people out of 10,000 fall for the scam, then it’s worth it for them. Don’t be one of those people and trust your gut when it comes to Apple phone calls. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Once you received the call, make sure to report it to the Internal Revenue Service. They have a special website that collects the data, so they can investigate.
Phishing Scams Are Common Place
The Apple scam is only one of many types of phishing out there. Every company from Netflix to PayPal has been used at one time or another. Don’t let a spoof phone number be the cause of your personal information getting out.
Once the information gets out, it can be difficult to get your identity back without tedious red tape and months of work. It’s a serious problem that many people have had to go through. If you want more information about phishing scams and how to protect yourself from hackers, then explore our website today.