Fraudster posing as Apple tech support steals $16,000 from Mac owner


Fraudster steals $16k from victim posing as Apple tech support
"Hello ma'am, this is, ugh, John from your bank. Could you tell me your account number?"
Photo: Donald Tong/Pexels CC

A hacker recently stole $16,000 from a Mac owner in Cape Coral, Florida, by posing as Apple tech support.

The fraudster phoned the targeted individual and prompted the victim to hand over personal information. They said they would use this to solve assorted problems with the person’s Mac. Instead, they stole money that the victim may well never get back.

“I would think that would very easily fool people, especially if you don’t know and there’s something wrong with your computer,” neighbor Dianne Waunsch told a local news outlet.

“This is the number-one way scammers are going to try and steal your money,” Rich Kolko, WINK News’ Safety & Security Specialist said. “They are going to break into your computer, steal all your information, which also includes bank information.”

It remains unclear from the report exactly what information the hacker obtained.

Fraudster posing as tech support

Apple said it is aware of similar scams involving fraudsters posing as tech support. It said that if someone phones claiming to be Apple, people should hang up and call Apple directly.

You should be particularly suspicious if anyone phones claiming to be tech support. Or in any other way asking for personal information that could be used to access your account. Especially if you’re not expecting a call such as this.

While I guess most people reading this story are tech-savvy enough to know about these kind of scams, it’s worth highlighting them because they still pose a big problem. It’s something that’s sensible to mention to less tech-savvy friends or relatives.

In the past, Apple filed a patent application to try and help fight phone scammers. The proposed system would let people know when an incoming call is not from where a caller claims it is. However, Apple has yet to introduce this technology.