Blog This Apple Support phone scam is fooling everyone — even Apple itself
Robert Siciliano January 24, 2019

This Apple Support phone scam is fooling everyone — even Apple itself

By now, you are probably well aware of phishing scams. For years, fake texts, emails, websites, and calls have attempted to trick people into giving scammers their personal information. Though these scams aren’t new, they are getting increasingly sophisticated—and more people are falling them. In the case of the latest Apple Support scam, this is especially true.

Apple Support scam

Scammers are calling people with an iPhone from a number that looks like Apple Support. In fact, it doesn’t just look like Apple Support, it is Apple Support (or at least that’s what your phone tells you). People are, therefore, falling for it and will willingly share their private information.

Even after the call, when you look at your call log, you’ll see that the number that called you is indeed the same number used by Apple Support. If you call the number back, a legit rep from Apple will even answer, although they’ll have no records of anyone from Apple Support reaching out. So how is it working? Seemingly, by manipulating the caller ID, the Apple Support scam calls are grouped together making it appear as if it’s coming from the same contact: Apple Inc.

This scam was first pushed into the public eye by Brian Krebs, a security specialist. He said that it’s disappointing that the iPhone lacks the capability to ditinguish between a real Apple call from a fake one, and yet he wasn’t surprised. Scammers are often one step ahead, and in this case, they’ve managed to fool Apple as well as its users.

This is a sophisticated scam when compared to many others, but the way we can defeat it is the same. As with any scam email, call, or text, you have to remain observant to anything that doesn’t look or sound right. In this case, Apple never calls its users by phone; it only contacts users via email. So you know it’s a scam right out of the gate.

(Side note: Beware of the email version of the Apple Support scam. These phishing emails are a common nuisance, so don’t assume an email from Apple is legit.)

If you ever get contacted by phone, email, or text, and you are asked for your personal details, make sure that you are 100 percent certain that it is a legitimate request before handing over your information. If you think that the person who contacts you is a scammer, you should definitely report it to the company. But, only use the contact details from the official website, not the info that the probable scammer has given you.

As we see with this latest Apple Support scam, it’s all-too-easy to fall victim. But as long as you remain vigilant and don’t take things at face value, you can avoid any issue.

Robert Siciliano
About Robert Siciliano

Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft expert consultant to Hotspot Shield. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him discussing internet and wireless security on Good Morning America. FInd Robert Siciliano on Google+

View all posts by Robert Siciliano
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