updated 08:35 pm EDT, Mon August 29, 2011
Requesting credit-card info for free service
An e-mail asking for credit card information is being sent to MobileMe and other Mac users purporting to want the info so the user can "sign up for iCloud," but it is a hoax. The iCloud service, set to begin sometime in the fall, has not rolled out yet -- and is a free offering which MobileMe members will automatically be enrolled in. The e-mail, supposedly sent from "The Apple store Team," (sic) goes on to warn MobileMe users that their subscription will be extended and invites users to "sign up" for iCloud.
Like most scam e-mails, the message is rife with errors and unprofessional spelling and grammar errors, which should alert most targets that it is not authentic. For example, the word "button" is misspelled, and the complimentary subscription to Mobile Me for all users has been in effect for months -- with the service ending on June 30th, 2012, not July 31st of that year. Also, the letter is signed by "The Apple store (sic) Team" even though it is allegedly sent from the "MobileMe Team." The Apple Store has no connection to MobileMe or to iCloud.
Clicking on the link, however, will take users to an appropriately Apple-esque sign-up page where they are prompted to enter their credit-card details. MobileMe members have been targeted with scam e-mails before, including one scheme that fooled hundreds of users.
Apple has posted a FAQ regarding the transition to iCloud from MobileMe, and users are encouraged to avoid clicking on links in e-mails that seem suspicious. Users of the default Mac mail program Mail can opt to reveal the headers of the e-mail to determine where it is really coming from, as well as see what URL the blue hotlinks actually link to. As a rule of thumb, if a link in an e-mail sends the recipient to a page asking for credit-card or bank details, it is best avoided and reported to authorities.