Watch Out For Apple ID Scammers This Christmas

Graham Cluley

With Apple products showing no sign of getting any less popular, scammers are turning to the Apple ID over credit cards as a new way to fleece the unwary, said a security researcher today.

Graham Cluley, blogger at Sophos, issued a warning about emails the company had spotted recently:

The emails appear to be being spammed out widely, and not just to Apple Store users. The cybercriminals are taking a shotgun approach, hoping that a good proportion of recipients have Apple IDs and might be fooled into handing over their details.

Phishing is the term used to describe those emails you get that claim to be from your bank, or from eBay or Paypal. They tell you that there’s been some minor mix-up on your account, and ask you to log in to sort it out.

If you click the links provided in these phishing messages, you’ll end up at a website that looks like your bank, or Paypal, or Apple.com. But it isn’t. And once you’ve entered your username and password there, you’ve given a criminal access to your real account.

Phishing is big business, mainly because it works. If the scammers send out enough emails, they’re bound to pull in a few victims. And they don’t need many victims to make it pay.

As always, the best advice is to be very careful about unexpected incoming emails. Don’t click links inside them – if a message claims to be from Apple, open the App Store inside iTunes or on your iDevice, and check your account from there. If there are any genuine problems, you’ll soon know.

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  • CharliK

    This isn’t new and it isn’t just during the holidays. Scammers have been targeting Apple IDs for ages. So much so that I’ve heard staff mention it in workshops at the stores. 

  • djrobsd

    With Apple now allowing you to pay for goods in the store using your Apple ID and your iPhone with self checkout, without ever having to talk to a sales associate, it is more dangerous.  Luckily they do ask for the CVV code on the back of the card, but if the hackers could collect that info somehow they could use stolen Apple ID’s to go into Apple Stores and buy lots of stuff.

  • Tarus Balog

    Instead of “phishing” should they call it “bobbing”?

  • Karl Eastwood

    I had my itunes account hacked recently, Apple sent me an email to notify me..  Some random in app charges appeared in my account before the password was reset.  I blame a test version of Final cut pro x I had installed, I noticed Apple release a official trail version of Final cut a few months later.

About the author

Giles TurnbullGiles Turnbull is a freelance writer in England. He also writes for the Press Association and The Morning News. You can find out more at his website, and follow him on Twitter @gilest.

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