Apple In Depth

Sections on this page
  1. Common Apple Scams
  2. How to Beat Apple Scams
  3. Reporting Apple Scams

As a multinational technology company, Apple scams are common. According to a daily financial newspaper, Apple was the most impersonated brand in phishing scams during the first quarter of 2020.

Apple Inc., formerly Apple Computer, Inc., designs, develops and sells computers, electronics, smartphones, software, tablets, and more.

In 1976, Stephen G. Wozniak partnered with Steve Jobs to create a microcomputer. Their first model, a working circuit board, was the start of Apple, but the Apple II was the first microcomputer that appealed to the average person. This discovery revolutionized the computer industry, and Apple’s revenue increased to $117 million in the 1980s—the same year the company went public. In 1984, the Macintosh, a series of personal computers featuring a graphical user interface, built-in screen, and mouse.

Apple began to struggle after Jobs left the company in 1985—when Jobs returned to the company twelve years later, Apple was almost bankrupt. Jobs turned the company around with the introduction of the iPod in 2001, the iPhone in 2007, and the iPad in 2010. In 2014, Apple earned close to $40 billion in profits. 

Contact Details

Apple


Phone: 1-800-275-2273
Website: https://www.apple.com
Contact page: https://support.apple.com/contact

Verified.org

Verified Contact Details

It's important to verify links and contact details to beat imposters.

Common Apple Scams

Using well-known brand names is a common tactic of cybercriminals to trick consumers into revealing personal data or opening malicious web pages. So, we’ve compiled a helpful list of past and current Apple scams to help consumers stay vigilant and avoid falling victim to Apple hackers and scammers. These include the:

Apple Phishing Scam 

Phishing is a scam where hackers trick you into divulging personal information, such as passwords and Social Security numbers. They’ll send emails, texts, and other types of messages, which appear to come from a legitimate company, like Apple.

If you receive a suspicious email from Apple, don’t click any links. These links will lead you to an Apple scam website where hackers can steal your data.

Apple ID Phishing Scam

In an Apple ID phishing scam, hackers lead you to believe your account has been locked due to suspicious activity. You must divulge personal data, such as your Apple ID and password, to unlock your account.

Example of Apple phishing email.
Look for various red flags of fake Apple emails, including the sender's email not being an official Apple email address.

Apple requires user IDs and passwords to access Apple services like the App Store, Apple Music, iCloud, iMessage, and FaceTime. Once the scammers have this information, they will be able to access all of these accounts. Your Apple ID also contains sensitive data, such as your contact, payment, and security information, which the scammers could get ahold of.

Apple iCloud Scam

The Apple iCloud scam can be hard to catch because hackers have developed a clone of Apple’s pop-up iPhone notification, asking for your iTunes store login information. If you’re unsure why the password notification has shown up on your iPhone, hit the home button. If the pop-up doesn’t come back, it was likely an Apple scam. However, if the pop-up remains, it’s likely a legitimate password notification from Apple.

Apple App Store Scam 

Apple’s App Store has the potential to be hacked as well. You’ll always want to remain vigilant when downloading apps from this store. Scammers may replicate an image of a legitimate app and promise to provide a service in exchange for a fee.

Always check for misspellings or other errors that may signify an illegitimate app. You can also take a look at the reviews section to ensure you’re not being scammed.

Apple Support Phone Scam

You receive an automated call from a person claiming to be with Apple support. The recorded message indicates there’s been a breach in the system or suspicious activity on your iCloud account. The person says you must call back immediately at the number provided.

In most cases, the person who answers your phone call is a scammer. They’ll try to get your account information, your credit card information, or even remote access to your computer or electronic device to fix your account.

Ignore these calls and contact Apple directly. Apple doesn’t call in cases like this. Hang up and call Apple directly.

Apple Fake iMessage or SMS Text Scam

Gone are the days when we only had to worry about our email being scammed. As technology continues to evolve, hackers and scammers must get creative to trick consumers. You’re just as likely to receive a fake iMessage or a fake Apple SMS in place of the traditional email.

Example of fake Apple text message.
In this example of a fake Apple text message, the link clearly doesn't go to an official Apple or iCloud website. (Source: The Sun)

Scammers will say your Apple account has been locked due to many login attempts or something similar. Often, scammers will convey a sense of urgency by explaining severe consequences if you don’t act soon. Don’t click or reveal data.

Apple Browser Pop-Up Scam

In the Apple browser pop-up scam, you’ll likely encounter a random pop-up on your browser of choice. Often, these pop-ups will not allow you to exit without restarting the browser. The pop-up may say there’s some problem with your computer, and you must contact the Apple tech support number provided.

If you call the number, scammers will ask for remote access to your device, enabling them to steal your personal information. They may also request payment for their service. Don’t call. Just close.

Apple iTunes Gift Card Scam

The Apple iTunes gift card scam usually takes place during a phone call from a panicked person. This person claims to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a bail bond company, or a debt collection agency.

The scammer will say you need to purchase an iTunes gift card to pay off your debt. It’s unlikely that the IRS or other debt collection agencies will accept gift cards as payment. Hang up.

How to Beat Apple Scams

Apple provides helpful tips to recognize and avoid phishing scams or illegitimate support calls to avoid Apple scams, which include:

  • Protect your Apple ID
  • Use two-factor authentication
  • Never share your Apple ID password
  • Learn how to identify legitimate Apple emails
  • Never use App Store, iTunes, and Apple Store Gift Cards as payment
  • Learn how to keep your Apple devices and data secure
  • Never share personal information
  • Don't follow links in suspicious emails
  • Don’t open, download or save attachments from unsolicited email

Reporting Apple Scams

If you receive a suspicious email from Apple, forward it to [email protected].

To report spam or other suspicious emails you receive in your iCloud.com, me.com, or mac.com Inbox, send them to [email protected].

If you receive a fraudulent tech support call, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission or your local law enforcement agency.

Scams Impacting Apple

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How to Protect Yourself from 6 Common Apple Pay Scams
10 March 2022 |

How to Protect Yourself from 6 Common Apple Pay Scams

Apple Pay may be a convenient way to send money, but it's also become a favorite among scammers looking to make a quick buck at your expense.

Apple Support Scam: Beware of Callers Impersonating Apple
13 December 2021 |

Apple Support Scam: Beware of Callers Impersonating Apple

If you receive a phone call from Apple Support, it could be a scammer attempting to steal your information and access your accounts.

Beware of Fake Apple Phishing Emails: Don't Click Any Links
8 December 2021 |

Beware of Fake Apple Phishing Emails: Don't Click Any Links

If you've been notified that your Apple ID has been locked, don't click the link in the email as this could be an attempt to steal your password.

Apple Gift Card Scam: Red Flags of Imposters After Your Money

Apple Gift Card Scam: Red Flags of Imposters After Your Money

Whether it's the IRS, Social Security office, or a relative, be careful with anyone asking for payment via an Apple gift card—it's likely a scam.

How Do You Beat Gift Card Scams? Never Pay Using Gift Cards

How Do You Beat Gift Card Scams? Never Pay Using Gift Cards

Beating this scam is simple—don't pay for anything using gift cards and don't give anyone you don't know or trust your gift card information.

Scams in Other Categories...
Tinder Code Scam Leads to Monthly Porn Subscriptions
7 October 2021 |

Tinder Code Scam Leads to Monthly Porn Subscriptions

The Tinder safe dating scam tricks users into giving up their credit card info to verify their profiles and leads to auto-enrollment in monthly subscription-based porn sites.

The Real Cost of Publishers Clearing House Scam Calls

The Real Cost of Publishers Clearing House Scam Calls

Fabulous wealth and life-changing prizes aren't always what's to be expected after receiving a call from PCH—it could just be a scam to steal your information and money.

FedEx Text Scam: Fake Delivery Alerts & Notifications
23 September 2022 |

FedEx Text Scam: Fake Delivery Alerts & Notifications

FedEx is warning customers of a fake text alert going around regarding an issue with a delivery. Learn how to avoid this tricky scam.

Real Chase Fraud Text Alert or Scam Message?
6 September 2022 |

Real Chase Fraud Text Alert or Scam Message?

If you receive a text message from Chase Bank, don't click on any links or call the phone number listed—it could be a scam designed to steal your information and money.

Guides To Protect Against Computers & Technology Scams

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Real or Fake Apple Watch? 8 Ways to Tell the Difference
20 June 2022 |

Real or Fake Apple Watch? 8 Ways to Tell the Difference

Although a lot of work has been done to remove counterfeit Apple products from shelves and online stores, fake Apple watches are still easy to come by.

Real vs. Fake Apple Power Adapters: 4 Signs of a Replica
28 April 2022 |

Real vs. Fake Apple Power Adapters: 4 Signs of a Replica

Apple power adapters might be more expensive than other brands you can buy, but buying the real deal can protect both your own safety and your Apple computer.

Cost of Streaming Services in 2022 (And How It's Changed Over the Years)
18 March 2022 |

Cost of Streaming Services in 2022 (And How It's Changed Over the Years)

With the recent Netflix price hike on all of its plans, what can we expect for the other streaming services this year? We take a look at how the cost of streaming services has changed over the years.

Real vs. Fake AirPods Pro—9 Ways to Tell the Difference
17 March 2022 |

Real vs. Fake AirPods Pro—9 Ways to Tell the Difference

At $250 a pop, the last thing you want when buying AirPods Pro is to end up with a fake that uses cheap materials and doesn’t work how you expect it to.

How to Get an App Store Refund & Dispute a Rejected Claim
15 February 2022 |

How to Get an App Store Refund & Dispute a Rejected Claim

If you accidentally purchased an app on the App Store or it doesn't work as promised, you can request a refund directly from Apple in just a few easy steps.

News About Computers & Technology Scams

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Apple Fights Back Against Counterfeiters on Social Media
18 August 2021 |

Apple Fights Back Against Counterfeiters on Social Media

Apple creates a team for the sole purpose of removing fake products from social media sites.

News in Other Categories...
Roe vs. Wade Overturned: Abortion Rights in Your State

Roe vs. Wade Overturned: Abortion Rights in Your State

Find out what the overturning of Roe vs. Wade means for abortion rights in your state.

Searches for "COVID Vaccine 5G" Hit All-Time High, But Microchips Definitely Not in Vaccine
2 February 2022 |

Searches for "COVID Vaccine 5G" Hit All-Time High, But Microchips Definitely Not in Vaccine

The number of people searching for the term "COVID vaccine 5G" on Google has just hit an all-time high, but there's one way to be sure that there are no microchips.

Social Media: The New Favorite Amongst Scammers
1 February 2022 |

Social Media: The New Favorite Amongst Scammers

Social media platforms are possibly the most used tools in committing fraud, responsible for $770 million in losses.

Beware When Scanning QR Codes, Even for Menus
20 January 2022 |

Beware When Scanning QR Codes, Even for Menus

The FBI is warning Americans about a new scam circulating in the country involving fraudulent QR codes in public places.