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.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE