5 Tips on How to Identify “Apple” Fraudulent Phishing Emails
A new season of fraudulent phishing campaign unfortunately is already here. Recently, a number of Apple users have received convincing-looking (at first sight) emails pretending to be from Apple. Scammers became more experienced, and found a crafty way in order to trick unsuspecting visitors, and simply get their Apple ID and password. They send deceptive emails with fake links that look like they will take you to a legitimate website. However, if you follow such link, you will get to a website that has nothing to do with the company the email is pretending to be from.
If you are not a tech savvy person that can easily identify fraudulent phishing emails, please follow this post to learn top 5 tips on how to protect your personal data from adversaries.
How scammers trick you into visiting phishing sites
Scammers generated tens or maybe even hundreds of fake Apple websites to steal as many Apple IDs and passwords as possible. Yet, we have some true solutions to avoid getting on the hook.
On its website, Apple offers to users a solid Support Document that explains the detailed steps to detect cyber criminals. To put it in short, the idea is the following:
1. In OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, mouse over (but don’t click) any link in an email, and you will see a pop-up that shows you the actual URL that you will be taken to. If the URL’s in your email do not match, or the second URL is not from a domain or company you are familiar with, this is a good indication that this is a phishing email.
2. The true email should contain your actual Apple ID in its body, and your name in a greeting phrase. The existence of generic phrases in the email, such as “Dear valued customer,” “Dear (your account name)”, is a warning sign that this is a scam.
3. Do not reply to unsolicited messages. Never click any of the links or open attachments it contains. You may contact the company to verify the origin of the email and its content.
4. If the email contains a demand for urgent actions, for instance, telling you that you have only 24 hours to cancel a purchase if it wasn’t made by you or to unlock your account, this is most probably a fraud.
5. If you do click the link, you can still check the website: whether it is trusted or not. Almost all browsers, including Safari 5, Firefox 7, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer 10, display the company name in green if the site has been issued an Extended Validation Certificate (EV) and is a legitimate website.
Or, when a website requires to log in to your account, you may intentionally use the wrong password. A fake site will usually show you as logged-in anyway, and then start demanding personal information from you.
Note: Apple does not use pop-ups, and its genuine URL’s are short.
How to protect yourself from phishing scams
The best way to avoid the phishing scams, and to protect your data, is simply not to follow any links you receive. But the more realistic way is to check the information you have received with the sender through a different channel. You may type the website you usually use to log in, and check if there are any notifications for you.
When you are going to reply to the suspicious email, think twice. Remember, you should never provide personal information through email, especially if you are in doubt whether it is a genuine message from Apple. Moreover, there is certain personal information it will never ask you for via email. It includes:
- Social Security Number
- Mother’s maiden name
- Full credit card number
- Credit card CVV code
You may also enable two-factor authentication for your Apple ID. However, the best way to stay secure online is to use a virtual private network service, as VPN Unlimited. It is an excellent solution to avoid fraud, scam, and other types of cyber crimes that occur to million of people on a regular basis.
VPN Unlimited is anti-phishing, anti-malware, anti-spyware, and anti-adware software. This top-notch security app will encrypt all your web traffic, and hide your real IP address. If you decide to log into a service through a realistic-looking, but malicious, website that tries to steal your personal information, it will protect you from any scam actions of third parties. It means that nobody will be able to steal your username, password, and other sensitive information.
The scam is not gone! Keep your trusted shield always on. Enable VPN Unlimited, and enjoy your secure web surfing.