Anticipating or identifying telephone phishing scams can resemble a game of Whac-a-Mole. Just when you’ve gotten wise to one fraudulent approach, several more spring up in its place.
The latest attempt to grab your private information should be on your radar because of how convincing it is. Users of Apple’s iPhone are reporting calls that appear to be coming directly from Apple itself, according to Business Insider.
Here’s how it works: Users receive an incoming call from a number that appears to originate with Apple’s help line. If the scammer is successful in replicating that (genuine) number, it will appear to be legitimate on phone screens because the help line comes pre-loaded into the phones. Rather than showing an unrecognized number, iPhones will display the Apple logo, giving the call the appearance of being authentic. Scammers will then explain that Apple servers have been "compromised" and that the users should dial a second number for more details.
Of course, the report is false and the number connects you to criminals. Scammers are hoping the veneer of the call being from Apple will prompt users to lower their guard and give out personal information such as passwords or credit card numbers.
To avoid being victimized by these efforts, it’s important to remember that callers can present, or “spoof,” any number they want, including official company extensions. Don’t presume an Apple logo is any guarantee of the call being genuine. Also bear in mind that Apple’s support division never makes outgoing calls to consumers unsolicited.
If you’re on the fence about whether Apple or any other company is trying to reach you, it’s best to disconnect incoming calls and dial them yourself. Before giving out any secure information, make sure you’re the one who initiated the call.
[h/t Business Insider]