Have you ever heard that Apple’s mac OS is the most secure operating system?
It is true. Still, cybercriminals have a variety of tricks up their sleeves to execute a harmful attack. One such scam is related to fake Apple emails or messages.
Today, more than 1.5 billion Apple devices require Apple ID to use Apple’s services like iTunes, Facetime, iMessage, App Store, and more. Besides, a non-Apple user can also create an account to use the services. You can imagine the potential target for the scammers to execute their shady tasks.
However, you can save yourself from the threat by following a few security measures.
This article will discuss how to recognize the Apple ID phishing scam and protect yourself from one such attack.
So, without much raving, let’s dive deep into it.
What is a Phishing Attack?
Phishing is an online scam where cybercriminals lure you into providing sensitive information. Otherwise, they try to extract money from you using fake messages. The term is analogous to “fishing” since cybercriminals use baits to trick you into revealing your details.
Most phishing attempts try to get your email address, credit card numbers, mother’s maiden name, phone number, account passwords, etc. They use it to cause financial damage, identity theft, logging into personal accounts, blackmail, or stealing money.
Still, in the end, it’s you who provide the information to these cybercriminals. Therefore, you can easily save yourself by being cautious.
Why are Scammers Trying to Steal Your Apple ID?
Well, it is not rocket science. Your Apple ID is a one-stop solution to access all your Apple-related tools. Besides, cybercriminals can access your personal information using your ID.
- Cybercriminals can use your Apple ID to log in to your Apple devices such as Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and much more.
- It also includes your payment and shipping details for purchasing from the App Store.
- Your Apple ID is useful in accessing your security settings, subscription, and in-app purchases.
- Cybercriminals can use your ID to access your iCloud account to download personal images and documents. They can use it to blackmail or defame you.
Various Methods of Attempting the Apple ID Phishing Scam
There are many ways to execute an Apple ID phishing attempt. Let us see some examples to get an idea about them. Understand the method to prepare yourself from such endeavors.
Apple ID Receipt Order Email
Many phishing scams use fake emails to trick users. You can find something like “Receipt ID,” “Receipt Order,” or “Payment Statement” in the subject line of such emails.
Such emails try to trick you into believing that a transaction is made using your credit card on the Apple account. People usually hurry to cancel the subscription, thinking it might cost them unnecessary money. However, the email lands you on a fake website where it asks you to fill your login details. It might also ask you to verify your credit card number.
We have provided one such example below:
You can notice that the sender and email recipient have a suspicious address. They are certainly not from Apple. Besides, the attached receipt is an editable word file. None of the renowned company send a receipt in this format.
The above example was easy to recognize as a fake email. However, cybercriminals can also make the email look genuine. Look at the below example to get an idea.
Apple ID Phone Call Scams
With evolving technology, it is not challenging to spoof a phone number. Scammers use phone numbers that look genuine to attempt a scam phishing call. It is not straightforward to distinguish between the fake and real numbers. The spoofed call shows a legitimate website, Apple’s logo, and original consumer support number. Thus, you might get tricked into believing it as real.
Apple ID Fake Text Message
Another way of scamming people using a phone number is to send an intriguing text message. It might have text similar to “Your Apple account is blocked.” It then asks you to visit the provided link to unblock your account.
Scammers use such messages to lure you into filling a form. You might enter all your details, which can be used against you, thinking it a legitimate website.
Temporarily disabled Apple ID Email
Similar to the fake message we mentioned earlier, you can also get the same message’s email version.
Such an email would notify you that there was some suspicious activity related to your account. Therefore, Apple’s support team has temporarily disabled your account. Then, it urges you to visit a website that resembles the real one. There, scammers would try to steal your information to execute the phishing attack.
How to Spot Apple ID Phishing Scams
Some phishing scams might be more challenging to recognize. However, you can always look for suspicious signs since most of them have similar content.
According to a study, scammers intentionally keep grammar mistakes in the message. It filters out those people who would do in-depth research before providing their details. A smart audience would investigate more and waste the scammer’s time. Instead, scammers try to convert a little less knowledgable victim who is easy to fall for the trick.
You can look for the below errors in the phishing message to distinguish it from the real one:
- Grammar and spelling mistakes
- Unprofessional website design and email address
- Questionable email recipient and sender
- Asking you to verify your details over phone and email
- Suspicious links or shortened URLs
- Unreliable and shady email attachments
Takeaways to Protect Your Data
We have provided some tips that you can apply straight away. You can save yourself from an Apple ID scam or any other online threat in general by following the below suggestions:
- Use secure web browsers like Google Chrome. You might also consider installing security extensions on Chrome for better protection.
- Always hover over a link before clicking it. It would reveal the web address the link is trying to take you to. Do not click the link if you find the address suspicious.
- Avoid opening email attachments from unknown senders.
- Always keep your software up to date, whether it be the OS or any application.
- Always use two-factor authentication in your accounts. (Apple ID and others as well)
- Use a proactive antimalware program to block any malicious page if you click on it unknowingly.
As a cherry on a cake, we have provided some official sources regarding the online security associated with your Apple ID. Use the guide, whether your account is compromised or not. It would give you an edge over the scammers to protect your data.
- Information around phishing and other suspicious emails.
- Details on your Apple ID security.
- How to identify legitimate emails from Apple.
- How to avoid Apple ID scams in general.
- What to do if you think your Apple ID has been compromised.
- Also, watch this video for a summary on how to identify, avoid, and report phishing:
Apple indeed has the most secure operating system. Still, cybercriminals would try to harm you using various techniques. Apple ID phishing scams are one such technique that cybercriminals use to steal your data. However, you can easily prevent yourself from revealing sensitive information by following some security measures, as mentioned in the article.
We are positive that you must have got some actionable tricks to spot and avoid an Apple ID phishing scam from this article. Feel free to comment below your queries and similar experience. We would be more than happy to help you to protect yourself from online threats.