Free iPhone 12 Scam: How It Works
Beware of a new Free iPhone 12 scam that is going around. Something like this happens every time when a new version of the device is released. Just look at the previous one – remember the Free iPhone 11 scheme? Let’s dive into this new case.
Numerous people have reported a mobile phishing campaign that keeps spreading via text messages and comes from an Apple chatbot. This scam is the latest attempt to grab a person’s private information, so mobile phone users should be careful. Here is how the scam works.
Since the iPhone 12 was just released, cybercriminals use this to deceive people and get their credit card details by convincing them that they can participate in a special iPhone 12 trial. It is a fake request from Apple to see how the new phone is doing after launch. Rest assured that you are not getting an iPhone 12 – at least not for free.
We have to warn people that this is just one of the common phishing scams that aim to harvest your username, password, and credit card information, and everybody has to be aware of it.
Fake iPhone 12 Testing Program
You got a message saying that you are the winner of a trial version of the iPhone 12 post-release, which you will get for free. What people get is a text message saying that they have been “selected” for a unique opportunity to receive a free, new iPhone 12 and that they need to click on the available link, which will lead them through the whole process.
Interestingly, these scam text messages are written so that the receiver believes that they were not meant for him/her but were sent by mistake. The message goes like this: “Dear Janice, we have your packet in the queue. Address: #207, Homestead Crescent,” and there is a link to click.
Unfortunately, there are still unsuspecting people out there who believe in these fairytales, which is why scammers keep on existing. The message tells you to click on a link that will take you to a special “Apple 2020 Testing Program”. Here you will be asked some questions related to Apple’s new devices, and these questions aim to test the hardware to improve the creation of the next versions, such as the iPhone 13. You will be talking with an Apple chatbot, and you will get a series of messages from it.
One of them would go like: “Congratulations, you received an opportunity to be in the testing group for our newest iPhone 12 as part of the Apple 2020 Testing Program.”
Beware of the Bogus Delivery Fee
Being that this kind of situation happens all the time, that should not be taken as suspicious. Still, once you visit the scam site, you find out that there is a request that you pay a courier delivery charge for the ‘free’ phone you will get, and it is typically between $1 and $2, which should be considered doubtful.
The only way to pay this charge is by entering your credentials into a credit card payment form, which can be found on this ‘special offers’ website.
Shrewd people would notice an HTTPS security padlock, which shows that the site is not a real, original Apple website. Still, the majority of people triggered by the fantastic offer would not pay attention to it.
The last step is the payment of your modest delivery charge. By filling in the form, you deliver your personal data to the scammers who will use your card number and security code to take your money. The fraudsters now have all that is necessary to start profiting from your actions.
Free iPhone 12 Scam: How to Avoid
The new iPhone’s 12 launch was a perfect opportunity for scammers to spread malicious features. However, still, there are so many ways of avoiding becoming a victim of these criminals.
This particular scam proved to be very tempting and, at the same time, very costly. The first thing that needs to come to mind when you get this kind of message is whether it sounds too good to be true. While there has been so much conversation about phishing, not enough attention is paid to “smishing.”
This means that email phishing awareness has increased among technology users, but the same cannot be said of smishing. These scammers found a way to use a text message, which is somehow more personal than an email, to perform dangerous criminal acts.
Another reason to use text messaging instead of email is that the phone’s operating system recognizes when a URL address is written in the text. It automatically makes it clickable for the user, so it is easier to enter the website.
A useful tip against this “free iPhone 12” offer is that it is rare that anyone offers a device for free.
Another suspicious part of this scam is that the message has no information about the sender. He does not know who you are; plus, you have done nothing to get a new iPhone.
The text message’s hyperlink would tell everything for those who are more into technology. It is not a real Apple website. This can be proven if you copy and paste the given link, which is “http://apple.co.uk/2020promo,” into a browser’s address bar, and you will see that no webpage will appear, which is not the case if you click on the link.
In case you tap on the link, you will be taken to a site that would look malicious to more witty people, but at the same time, the whole process is convincing enough to fool those less security-minded.
If it’s too late, here is what to do if you have been scammed over the phone.
Free iPhone 12: How To Report a Scammer
People who keep up to date with technology and cybersecurity news would not get fooled by this smishing. To protect those who are not so into scamming issues, you should take some protective steps against SMS phishing.
We have to inform people around us that they need to start being wary of text messages as emails. We should tell them not to be that naïve, as cybercriminals are actively targeting curious people who can quickly become their victims.
It is worth noting that Apple has a support page related to phishing scams. Here you can find everything you need to know about how to report any such messaging. Do it to save many people from being fooled.
Significantly, you check the authenticity of the websites you visit. Whoever uses the Internet has to know that he/she should never give away any passwords or credit card numbers to any website, no matter if they got it via a text message or instant message.
It is the same situation as you provide this information to a random stranger who stopped you in the street. Some people also tried blocking the numbers they got the message from, believing that they will stop scamming. But that is not the case, as the numbers they’re texted from are not real.
Contact the Federal Trade Commission
It would help if you were skeptical about any extremely generous offers and promotions you may get. Never follow links from suspicious emails or messages.
The best way to stay protected is not to respond to them or ignore them. Also, speak about them to people around you to make sure they do not get tricked and deceived. All in all, don’t fall for scams like this ever. No one is giving away cell phones for free, especially not the latest model.
Warn your family and friends about the Free iPhone 12 Scam by sharing this article. If you are wondering how to report phone scams, you can officially do it to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:
How To Prevent Identity Theft and More
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Here are some must-reads for the end:
Phone Scams Full List
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