Phishing Scam Targets Apple Customers in Canada

28 October 2015

An email scam targeting Apple customers is now making the rounds in Canada.

According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the emails appear to be from Apple ID Support, iTunes or iCloud, and ask recipients to click a link or download an attachment, then “verify” or confirm access to their account by providing their Apple ID and password. In some cases, the emails also request viewers’ credit card or other personal information. Even if a recipient doesn’t offer up these details, simply clicking the link could be enough to compromise this information. Rather than directing users to the Apple website, links and attachments initiate malware downloads that attempt to steal their hosts’ personal data, which could lead to identity theft.

“Scammers are sophisticated and create realistic looking websites and emails that appear to be from legitimate businesses in order to obtain your personal information,” says Sandra Crozier-McKee, president and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay. “It could be as simple as a slight misspelling of a word to trick viewers into believing they are being contacted by the actual business.”

To help protect you from phishing attempts like these, keep these tips in mind:

  • Scammers can copy a business’s colours, logos and even email addresses. Keeping an eye out for the details can help you notice small mistakes such as typos or errors in the logo that could tip you off.
  • Before clicking on a link, hover your cursor over the link to reveal its destination. If you don’t recognize the URL, don’t click on it.
  • Don’t open attachments from senders you don’t know.
  • Official emails from reputable companies will be well-written. If you get an email full of typos and grammatical mistakes, like the latest Apple emails, it is usually a sign that it is coming from a scammer.
  • If you are unsure whether or not an email is authentic, you can always contact the company directly through its official website. It will be able to verify any official communication.
  • To protect yourself in case a phishing attempt is successful in mining away any of your personal information, signing up for a credit monitoring service can help you stay alert, notifying you in case there is any unusual activity on your credit account that could indicate fraud.
    • If you receive a phishing email from Apple, forward the email to reportphishing@apple.com. Also report these and any other instances of phishing to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

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