| Cult of Mac

Here’s a great way to get your personal information off the internet


You can use Incogni to remove your vulnerable personal information online.
You can use Incogni to remove your vulnerable personal information from the back alleys of the internet.
Image: Surfshark

With corporate data breaches and identity theft on the rise, people are justifiably worried about how to keep their sensitive personal data safe online. Fortunately, the Incogni personal information removal service can reduce your exposure in multiple ways — with little effort on your part.

This post is brought to you by Surfshark.
And even better, Cult of Mac readers can get a 55% discount on subscriptions to the Incogni personal information removal service for a limited time.

What you should know about Apple Support scam calls


What You Should Know About Apple Support Scam Calls: Don't fall prey to increasingly tricky scammers.
Don't fall prey to increasingly tricky scammers.
Photo: Khusen Rustamov/Pixabay License

Once technical hurdles start ruining one’s day, most people would do anything it takes to resolve them as soon as possible and get on with their merry lives. This is especially true if resolving the problem is needed to progress with the task at hand, service a client, or anything along these lines.

When there is a looming sense of urgency, you are much more likely to fall victim to a scam or buy into a false pretense that someone can help you out. What a perfect atmosphere for scammers to prosper — and they’re getting increasingly more sophisticated in their ways. Falling in line with the rest of their repertoire of methods they use to defraud you, there is the infamous Apple Support scam, the latest addition to bad actors’ bag of tricks.

Phishing scams Mac users should look out for


Macs may be pretty secure, but Mac users can still fall victim to lots of scams.
Macs may be pretty secure, but Mac users can still fall victim to lots of scams.
Photo: Pixels/Mikhail Nilov

Apple’s macOS is more secure than other operating systems like Windows. But an increasing number of phishing and malware attacks now target Mac users.

And, no matter how secure macOS is, it does not make Mac users immune from the danger of phishing. The success of such attacks often depends on the vigilance of the user.

App Store scam pulls in $13 million with the help of fake reviews


AmpMe App Store scam rakes in $13 million
That's ... a lot of money.
Image: Appfigures

It seems it’s not that difficult to make millions of dollars on the App Store if you’re willing to charge people for a “free” service and you have money to spend on blatantly fake but seemingly effective reviews.

That’s how one developer, which offers an app that claims to make your music louder, has collected a cool $13 million — and somehow been featured by Apple multiple times in various countries — in under four years.

Devs unhappy with App Store promos for scam slime apps costing $676 a year


App Store scam slime apps
Don't be fooled by these pricey slime simulators.
Photo: App Store

App Store users and developers are unhappy with Apple’s decision to promote a number of scam ASMR apps this week.

Some, which are clearly designed to try to fool unwitting children into handing over their parents’ cash, come with incredibly expensive weekly subscriptions that end up costing as much as AU$676 a year.

App Store scams continue to rake in millions


TikTok continues to dominate the App Store in 2020.
Lots of apps. More than a few scams.
Photo: Kon Karampelas/Unsplash CC

Apple’s “walled garden” approach to the App Store improves quality control — but it doesn’t filter out all of the spammy, scammy content. According to a report by the Washington Post, scam apps represent close to 2% of the App Store’s top-grossing apps.

While that might not sound like all that much, it’s a sizable amount when you consider that the App Store hosts approximately 1.8 million apps. These scam apps reportedly have cost users in the vicinity of $48 million.

FTC warns about scammers calling people pretending to be Apple


Apple ditched plans for secure iCloud backups after FBI concern
Scammers could claim your iCloud account has been breached.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Federal Trade Commission is warning people that scammers are posing as Apple customer support workers in an attempt to defraud them. The agency shared a couple of recorded messages (which you can listen to here) that sound quasi-legitimate but are, in fact, trying to steal personal information.

In one message, the caller says they have detected suspicious activity in the recipient’s iCloud account. They suggest that the account has been breached and, to secure it, the person should speak to an Apple customer service representative. They then give the option to connect to such a person on the phone.

Dodgy apps use Touch ID/Face ID to rip off users


Touch ID on iPhone
Don’t let an app ask for your identity with Touch ID or Face ID unless you know what it’s doing.
Photo: Apple

A pair of fitness applications were found to be tricking users into authorizing financial transactions. They have been removed from the App Store, but stand as examples of something to watch out for.

If third-party software asks for you to identify yourself with Touch ID or Face ID, carefully consider whether there’s a good reason before doing so.