How to Steer Clear of iPhone Scams in 2020

The recent launch of the new iPhone 12 has created a surge in iPhone scams

Technology giant Apple introduced the latest products to hit the market — the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini — to a very excited community of fans on October 13, 2020. The phones were released concurrently with the more expensive iPhones 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max.

This much anticipated step follows warnings issued by security experts who caution Apple enthusiasts to keep a sharp eye out for an increase in iPhone-related phishing scams following the big release.

Cybersecurity and anti-virus provider Kaspersky has exposed around a hundred suspicious websites. Hackers already are focusing their crosshairs on unsuspecting consumers willing to part with thousands of dollars for the latest gadgets.

Most of these websites prompt users to submit their Apple ID numbers and passwords, which allows scammers to gain access to their private information. This information is then recorded and used directly or sold to third parties.

Increase in iPhone Scam Websites

In addition to cloned websites that feature the latest iPhone 12 releases, Kaspersky identified other scam sites that claim to help users locate lost or stolen phones, restore access to accounts and offer Apple support services. 

The number of fake websites increased significantly in September in advance of Apple’s big release. According to Kaspersky analyst Tatyana Sidorina, “This resurgence of scammers’ interest in Apple services shows that they would happily benefit from anything that attracts users’ attention.”

MyChargeBack, therefore, cautions its readers to exercise extreme caution and only source iPhone products from reputable outlets.

Another popular iPhone scam includes text messages that advise individuals that they have been selected to receive a free iPhone 12. The scam text messages appear as if they were intended for another person and that it was sent in error. 

A link to a special “Apple 2020 Testing Program” redirects recipients to an official-looking website that offers a free iPhone 12 in exchange for answering a quick survey. Once the user has answered the questionnaire, he is directed to a website where credit card details can be submitted to cover minor delivery costs for the phone.

As one can suspect, the personal information, including the victim’s name, card number and PIN, has just been shared with a professional criminal.

How to Avoid an iPhone Scam 

These days, iPhone scams and phishing scams are more common than one would expect. It is vital to understand the threats and stay one step ahead.

First, it’s very uncommon for tech giants to offer free devices to individuals outside of the company to test their devices and software. If you receive a random text message with an incredible offer from a big tech firm, recognize that it’s probably  too good to be true and walk away.

Second, a random text message from an unknown sender who knows your name and/or number but cannot explain why or how you were selected to receive it should be cause for concern and immediately prompt you to delete the message.

Third, take note of the link sent by the scammer, which will be very different from that of the original website. The sender uses the link “http://apple.co.uk/2020promo,” which only works in the text. It is a dead link, however, if you try to copy and paste it into your web browser.

Lastly, use common sense. Wealthy tech giants that offer free devices but require shipping costs should be all you need to know to recognize that it’s a scam. Send the message straight to the trash.

Victim of an iPhone Scam? Here’s What you Can Do.

If you are the victim of an Apple iPhone scam, you can report the scam to [email protected]. In addition, if you are seeking to recover your funds, you can contact MyChargeBack. We are an American fund recovery firm specializing in complex, card-not-present dispute resolution. Working with over 800 banks worldwide, we have assisted clients on every continent recover millions of dollars in assets that they thought they lost for good.

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