Beware phone scammers who warn of iCloud hack

Beware phone scammers who warn of iCloud hack

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Hacker who tried to extort Apple for $100k is spared prison
Hacker who tried to extort Apple for $100k is spared prison
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Got a call from “Apple Support” to say your iCloud account was hacked? Hang up and ignore it.

Phone scammers are calling unsuspecting iPhone and iPad users and trying to trick them into handing over their iCloud account details. Once they have them, they can purchase whatever they want, and it’s you who foots the bill.

The number of telephone scams is increasing at a scary rate. Some try to convince you your computer is infected by a virus and want crazy sums of money to fix it. Others threaten you with arrest warrants because you supposedly owe thousands to the IRS.

According to statistics from mTAB, there has been a 30 percent increase in phone scams since 2013, and around 86.2 million U.S. citizens are receiving scam calls every month. One of the latest claims your iCloud account has been hacked.

“The potential victim receives an automated message that claims to be from Apple’s support, telling them there is an issue with their iCloud account or that it has been breached,” explains Business Insider“They’re then put through to a human to ‘help’ them.”

Of course, that human has no intention of helping. Instead, they’ll try to trick you into handing over your personal details and iCloud login credentials. If you fall for it, they have access to your iPhone and iPad backups, your contacts, your photos, and lots more.

They also have control of any App Store and iTunes accounts associated with your iCloud email address, which they can use to purchase whatever they please — including gift cards. You probably won’t find out about it until the money disappears from your bank account.

What makes this scam even more convincing is recent reports that claim Turkish hackers have gained access to hundreds of millions of iCloud accounts, and are demanding up to $100,000 from Apple before wiping them all.

However, Apple has denied that any iCloud accounts have been breached.

“There have not been any breaches in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud and Apple ID,” a spokesperson said this week. “The alleged list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services.”

Apple has a support document that helps users identify and report Apple ID phishing scams.

“Never provide personal account information—including your Apple ID password, credit card info, or other personal information—by email or text message, and use extreme caution when clicking links in messages or sharing information over the phone,” it reads.

Sadly, some iCloud users have already been tricked into handing over their details and have lost money as a result. Don’t become one of them. Don’t provide any information to cold callers who claim to be from Apple and other companies.

To ensure your iCloud account is as secure as can be, also enable two-factor authentication, which prevents someone else from logging into your account — even if they have your password — without obtaining a code that’s delivered to your iOS device.