Apple is gearing up to launch the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus next week at a media event in San Francisco. But some users have received offers to “test the brand new iPhone 7” that will arrive in 2016. Don’t fall prey to such exciting but dubious offers. The bad guys out there are trying to trick you into providing them your personal and financial information. Or they might be trying to install malware on your device.
Signs that the iPhone 7 test offer is a scam
Something similar happened to a friend of Chron’s Dwight Silverman. Silverman’s friend was browsing a web forum on her iPad when she was greeted with a popup. The popup claimed that she was “randomly selected” to test the iPhone 7 that is supposed to arrive in 2016. It asked her to take a 4-question survey to join Apple’s “private test group.” Though Silverman’s friend was smart enough not to take the survey, some Internet surfers might become a victim of the scam.
However, the popup has several warning signs that clearly say that it’s a scam. To begin with, the Web URL is carefully designed to look legitimate, but the real domain name is com-luckywinner.com. Second, Apple never reveals the name of its future products. Third, do you think a company the size and reputation of Apple would ever select users to test its flagship products via a popup on a forum website?
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‘This is not a joke’
The popup text begins with “This is not a joke.” It may not be a joke, but it’s certainly a scam because it doesn’t sound like an Apple communication at all. Dwight Silverman points out that the first survey question is unobjectionable. But you might be asked to provide your personal information to receive your test iPhone 7 and a 16GB iPhone 6 as a “thank you.”
It’s also possible that clicking on the Yes or No button would install a virus, spyware, or another malware on your device. Scammers try to take advantage of the hype around a new product. Last month, Cisco found that hackers had launched a new email campaign promising to upgrade your PC to Windows 10 for “free.” The email contained a link to download a .zip file that would install a ransomware on your PC. Microsoft isn’t upgrading PCs to Windows 10 via email.