Tag - Scam
You didn't buy your Mac or your iPhone in order to while away the hours avoiding phishing scams and malware. Unfortunately, other people did buy theirs in order to con money or data out of you, so we have to be vigilant. That's the purpose of our three-part Pointers Special. This is how to protect your Apple device, your work, and your money -- and in this concluding edition, how to keep people from seeing what you're doing.
Tech-support scams have been around for a long time, but a disturbing new level has been breached with the discovery that scammers are using detailed records of Dell customer interactions to augment their claims that they are legitimate -- suggesting a security breach of Dell's customer base -- and that the company has been aware of the issue since at least last May and does not seem to have done anything about it, since the scams are continuing.
We're recently reported on a class-action lawsuit that was settled with the current developers of scamware "cleaning" software MacKeeper that forced the company to pay out over $2 million in refunds to half a million dissatisfied users, but thanks to a recent hack of its customer database, we've found that as many as 13 million users may have been suckered into paying for this "scareware" utility that falsely claims problems with one's Mac that it will then fix, and charges you $40 or more for the privilege.
Though most users would be suspicious, a recent scam spam has spread from email and forums to Twitter, Facebook and now text messaging, according to a recent Apple Support forum posting. Users have reported seeing unsolicited texts and social-network posts claiming that "Apple" is seeking 1,000 testers for text messaging on the iPhone 5. The links go to the websites celltestnkeep.com or cellphonetesters.com and ask for email or a text message "code" to sign up.
Though most Mac users already know never to send their login information for any site in response to an e-mail (often posing as the user's bank, brokerage firm, Apple or other name-brand internet companies), variations on the phishing e-mail continue to pop up, particularly just before and after Christmas. The Mac Observer's Bryan Chaffin reports getting a new one specifically aimed at MobileMe users.
A woman at a McDonald's in Spartanburg, South Carolina was tricked out of $180 and ended up with a hand-painted plank of wood masquerading as an iPad with a home-made representation of an Apple logo on the back and an iPad screen on the front due to a scam, an in-person variation of the "brick in a box" mail order swindle, MSNBC. Authorities are on the lookout for two black males, one of which has a gold tooth, who were driving a white Impala with no rims and no tinting.
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.