In an age when we rely on our smartphones and computers in so many areas of our lives, hackers stand to benefit hugely from a successful scam.
The latest attempted scam involves text messages sent to iPhone owners. The messages attempt to trick users into handing over account information.
Apple ID scam sends text messages to iPhone users
Instead of tricking users into interacting with an alert and then running a malicious code, the scam involves a simple text message. Hackers hope to get sensitive information out of unsuspecting users by tricking them into trusting the contents of the message.
While tech-savvy users will spot this is a phishing scam straight away, there are plenty of people that won’t. Remember when you gave your old iPhone to your Mum and she didn’t know how to switch it on? Those are the kind of users that could easily fall for such a scam.
The embedded URL takes people to a page which asks for their Apple ID and linked password. Ostensibly users will prevent Apple from terminating their account by providing this information.
Unsuspecting users tricked into revealing information
This would never actually happen, but it does seem to be a concern for some people. So much so that they would ignore the warning signs and reveal sensitive information on an unfamiliar site.
The text message in question reads as follows:
[Name] your Apple ID is due to expire today. To prevent termination confirm your details at appleidlogin.co.uk – Apple Support.
However the hackers do not limit themselves to simply stealing Apple ID login details. They also ask for bank and credit card information.
It is a fairly decent attempt by the hackers, truth be told. While other messages are littered with spelling mistakes that immediately set alarm bells ringing, this version looks quite professional.
It is also personalized with the user’s name, which makes it seem more trustworthy. This would suggest that the hackers have bought a database of names and numbers from somewhere.
The message goes on to warn that the user’s Apple account will be terminated if they do not follow the link and enter their account details. Apple warns against this kind of scam on its support pages and the company itself would never demand your details in such a way.
Stay alert to head off scam and scammers
Every so often these kind of scams resurface. In a time when a majority of people use technology every day you would have thought that the population would have gotten wise to these kind of attempted attacks.
However the very fact that hackers continue to employ the same methods would suggest that their success rate is high enough to make it worth their while. Hackers have a number of sophisticated ways of gaining access to information, but sometimes it appears that they prefer to rely on the trusting nature of human beings.
If you receive any kind of text message or email that is purportedly from Apple or any other tech company, think long and hard before you reveal any sensitive information. No tech company would request your details over text message via a link.
It may seem like common sense but the threat of losing their Apple ID account apparently sends some people into such a tailspin that they don’t stop to consider whether or not the message is real.