A Florida resident had $16,000 stolen from them after they received a phone call from someone pretending to be from Apple.
Yes, it’s the infamous “tech support” scam. And while it may seem like a thing of the past, this recent incident in Cape Coral, Florida proves that hackers and scammers can still take advantage of unwitting users.
According to local media reports, an unnamed Cape Coral resident received a call from someone who said they worked at Apple Support.
It’s not clear what took place during the call, since it appears that the actual victim wasn’t interviewed. But apparently, the attacker was able to gain access to their computer and used personal data to steal $16,000.
We’ve previously covered various Apple scams in-depth, but the “tech support” route is one of the unfortunate classics. And while it may be easy for some people to see through, this story is evidence that these scams can still easily trick people.
How to Avoid Being Scammed
Tech support and similar scams take advantage of a technique known as social engineering. It’s essentially like it sounds: using manipulation and deception to basically “hack” people.
Phishing and vishing (voice phishing) attacks are two common social engineering tactics. Users who fall victim to them often hand their passwords or other sensitive information over to the attacker.
And with that data, a bad actor could easily hijack online accounts, including those for banks and financial institutions.
Luckily, there are a few important tips in mind that can protect you from these attacks.
- Be suspicious of unexpected calls. Phone calls from an Apple Store aren’t unheard of, but make sure you’re expecting one. Apple doesn’t make cold calls.
- Don’t trust phone numbers. It’s perfectly possible and actually fairly easy for a bad actor to “spoof” a phone number to make it appear like it’s coming directly from Apple. Don’t take the Caller ID as proof of legitimacy.
- Avoid giving out personal info. An actual Apple tech will never ask for information like your passwords or credit card numbers over the phone. Never give this data to anyone on a call.
- Contact Apple directly. If you have even the slightest doubt about a call, it’s best to hang up on the caller and contact Apple directly through a verified number or email address.