Apple Support Scam
The Apple Pop-Up: How The Scam Works
The Apple Support Pop-Up is the equivalent of the Microsoft Tech Support Scam that's been happening for over a decade. Since Apple products have become even more popular lately, it was just a matter of time until cybercriminals applied the same tactics to the Mac and iPhone users. It was probably just a little more difficult for the scammers to operate as Apple was known for its security features, but this week we have a new scam involving the A brand. Here is how it works:
While you are surfing the net on your Mac or your iPhone, there is a notification that pops-up on your screen informing that "your device (iPod, iPad, iPhone) is infected with a malicious adware attack". It sounds very serious.
Here is a screenshot of the pop-up:
This "critical support warning" – supposedly coming from Apple – says that you should call 1 (844) 483-8886 in order to get your device fixed. "Please contact tech support and provide error code ROOTKITS1178 to scan and resolve any potential threats to your personal and financial information, which was being tracked by the suspicion connection."
To make their bogus notification seem more legitimate, scammers add a couple of phrases meant to give you some peace of mind: "Consequently we are performing additional security checks to verify the source of the attack and have halted all your system resources in order to avoid additional damage."
Since the Apple users are not familiar with these types of notifications as they trust their device, many fall victim to the scam by calling the number provided. By talking to the cybercrooks – not to the real Apple – they give remote access to their devices. The sky is the limit when it comes to real damage that could be done to their personal information. Scammers claim to clean their machine but steal everything they have on there – not only the data but also future documentation.
Before we go any further – make sure do not call the phone number mentioned in the alert. Run a thorough malware scan on your device with your security app, if you have one installed on your device.
Apple Tech Support: How To Avoid
Look at the red flags first. The pop-up informs you that your one device has been infected with malware, but they mention three of them: iPod, iPad, and iPhone. If anything was such an apparent discovery, they would have said the exact device you are on.
Then, the first paragraph informs with certainty about you being "infected with a malicious attack," while the second paragraph talks about the "potential" threats. Oh, and by the way, how can you be "infected with a malicious attack?" Maybe "by a malicious attack."
Last but not least, while Apple does offer remote assistance to those who need it, they will never reach out first over something that is going wrong with your device. Not to mention that they will never use a pop-up window asking you to contact them for tech support in the way these criminals use. They are way better than that.
How To Report a Scammer
Warn your family and friends about the Apple Support Scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:
How To Prevent Identity Theft and More
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