If you have received an email from Apple telling you your Apple ID has been suspended, think twice before clicking on any links.
MailGuard has intercepted a phishing scam targeting Apple customers, with the subject line: “We have temporarily suspended use of this ID.”
The sender name of the email shows that it’s from Apple, however the email is actually coming from a server not associated with Apple.
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The email is entirely plain text, has no Apple branding, and does not greet or address the user, MailGuard said.
The email warns that the use of the Apple ID has been suspended until activity is verified.
The user is then instructed to click some hyperlinked text, which reads: “Review and verification of account activity” in order to continue using their ID.
“The fraudster has used a link-shortening service to hide the true URL in an effort to make it harder to detect the scam,” MailGuard said.
This is how the email looks.
The user is then taken to a phishing site where they are prompted to enter their Apple ID and password.
“When they proceed with logging in, their credentials are harvested by the cybercriminal – but the scam doesn’t end there,” MailGuard said.
“When the user proceeds to ‘log in’, they’re redirected to a page titled: “Payment Verification For Your Apple ID.”
“The page instructs the user to enter their credit card details and are threatened with the closure of their account if they exit the window.”
The page uses Apple branding to make it look legitimate but, upon closer inspection, users will notice the URL is not associated with Apple.
Additionally, the buttons for ‘month’, ‘year’ and ‘continue’ are written in German which raises further red flags.
If the user provides their credit card details, they’re taken to an “SMS verification” page, where they’re directed to enter a code that’s sent to their mobile.
“Brands like Apple are popular targets for impersonation by scammers, due to their enormous customer base and trusted name,” MailGuard said.
Apple advises customers to:
Never share personal information, such as credit card numbers, unless you can verify the recipient is who they claim to be.
Protect your Apple ID. Use two-factor authentication, always keep your contact information secure and up to date, and never share your Apple ID password or verification codes with anyone. Apple never asks for this information to provide support.