Apple “tech support” scams are far from new. But they also don’t appear to be slowing down — and scammers are increasingly using more advanced techniques.
Just this week, the Oklahoma City Police Department started warning local residents on Facebook of a pretty standard Apple tech support scam that you should be aware of.
How It Works
- The call tells Apple users that there’s been “suspicious activity” on their iCloud accounts.
- It then advises them to press 1 to talk to an “Apple Support advisor.”
- These types of scam calls are phishing attempts. In other words, if the text-to-speech robocall actually “hooks” a user and they press 1, an actual person will attempt to get that user’s Apple ID and login credentials.
To add authenticity to the calls, the scammers in the Oklahoma City area are reportedly spoofing actual Apple numbers. If a call recipient attempts to call the number back, it’ll go to a local Apple Store.
And phone calls aren’t the only strategy that scammers will use to try and phish your personal information. Email and text message scams are nearly as common these days as traditional robocalls and tech support scam calls.
How to Avoid Being Scammed
The easiest way to avoid getting phished is to remember this:
If you receive a call from “Apple” — or any company — requesting any type of sensitive information, it’s always a scam. Hang up.
If you actually suspect that something is wrong with your Apple or iCloud account, be sure to contact Apple directly (and only through a verified medium).
You can also report a particular scammer to Apple or your local authorities.
For users running iOS 13, Apple has also implemented an unknown number blocking feature that can go a long way toward stopping these scam calls.