Tips to Avoid Smart Phishing Scams

Most recent phishing scam from fake ‘iTunes’ will catch many people

Today, Cheryl and I both received the same scamming email from what appeared to be Apple. From what I could see, the title of the email, the sender, and the details all appeared legitimate. Below is a screenshot of how this email came in.

phishing screenshot

The email was meant to pose as a ‘receipt’ that iTunes was sending me, and it caused me concern because I didn’t buy anything today from iTunes. So the natural reaction after reading through this email was look for the ‘Issues with this transaction?’ portion. I read through and clicked the only link on the page, asking me whether or not I approved this transaction. I should have had my first moment of hesitation at this time because I most certainly did not rent a movie for $41.99 (a first warning flag).

However, since the link displayed smart text leading me to believe that this was the real deal, I naturally clicked it and was then taken to another screen that also seemed official.  But have a closer look at the image below, because if you examine the screenshot carefully you can see that this is not really Apple.

The first clear indicator is that the address bar has a wonky name; it’s coming from something with the phrase ‘endoftheinternet’ in the address. The second concern I had was that the links at the top of the page were not real links at all; nothing was happening with I clicked on them. And finally, when I pressed on the ‘Apple’ logo and dragged it to my desktop, the whole page came with it, confirming my suspicions that this whole page is just one crisp screenshot (image) that someone with basic photoshop skills grabbed and put up to trick people.

apple scam screenshot phishing

Thankfully I was able to recognize this before any information was submitted. I quickly went back into my email and click the ‘report phishing’ button in my gmail program so that some programmers at Google could stop this from happening to too many people. The reality is, however, that many people will be fooled and I’m told that the next screen after this one, if you follow through on the ‘iTunes Sign In’ page, is a screen requesting your credit card information, similar to these iTunes scamming blog pictures.

Be careful my friends and try these tips:

  1. Watch for fake addresses in the address bar that don’t have clearly defined domain names. Have a read of this: http://www.consumerfraudreporting.org/Scam_Websites.php
  2. Ask yourself: Do all of the buttons on the site behave as expected? Does any of the design feel out of place?
  3. Take time to read the content of any website that is requesting you to log-in or submit personal information.
  4. Always check to make sure the site has https in the address bar and not just http. Think of the ‘s’ as standing for ‘SECURE’

If you do feel like you’ve given too much info, quickly go into your account (iTunes in this case) and change your password to be safe.

It doesn’t hurt to change it up regularly anyway.

Thanks,
Dwayne

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