Beware the Apple iCloud Phone Phishing Scam

"But I don't think this phone supports iCloud."

By Anna Breuer on 31 August 2019
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Scammers have a new and improved way to fool people.  A new phone-based phishing scam spoofing Apple’s official support number is likely to take a lot of people by surprise and result in those being called providing the scammers with sensitive information.

The call mimics an official Apple support call, displaying Apple’s logo, Cupertino address, and real toll-free number (800 692-7753).  This is the same number, displayed as 800 MY-APPLE, when Apple customers request a call from the company.

Several FBT staffers have reported getting such calls in recent weeks. The calls are not identified by T-Mobile (the mobile operator used by our parent company, Accura) as “Scam Likely” even though it is clear that Apple’s number is being spoofed.

The automated message states that the recipient’s iCloud account “has been compromised” and that he should “stop going online.”  The automated message then prompts the caller to dial a toll-free number with an 866 prefix for Apple support.

Typically, Apple’s automated system would prompt the caller to press “1” to be connected to Apple support.

I tried calling the 866 number, which was answered by a main greeting that told me I had reached Apple support and provided an expected wait time. The call was answered by a man with a vague Indian accent who, after asking the reason for my call, disconnected it.

A call to T-Mobile tech support to find out why the call wasn’t blocked provided little if any useful information about what can be done to address such issues. The rep we spoke with said, “This is alarming.”  Both the initial representative and a supervisor and a manager wanted to turn the matter over to Apple even though it’s a network issue, not an Apple issue.

Because these types of schemes – be they via telephone or e-mail – rely on creating a sense of urgency, they tend to be more successful in getting those on the receiving end to divulge personal and credit card information, a problem that then snowballs.  If you receive this type of call, the answer is simple: hang up the phone.s

Photo: Accura Media Group)

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