Amidst an increasingly desperate and deceptive landscape of hackers and scammers and nefarious actors gone rampant, these dead-beats have likewise become increasingly crafty in the way they go about trying to extort your most sensitive information all for the sake of potentially making a few bucks at the expense of those naive enough to play along.
Consider the Turkish Crime Family, a group of hackers who had supposedly gained access to as many as 600 million iCloud accounts and was using their “upper-hand” as a way of extorting Apple into paying a ransom in iTunes gift cards or Bitcoin currency.
Though Apple’s security team initially invalidated their claims, the company has unfortunately stopped short of providing outright evidence that the Turkish Crime Family’s claims were invalid in their entirety. Even more unfortunate, though, is that the group (and supposedly others like them) have now resorted to alternative means of obtaining the iCloud credentials they previously claimed were already in their possession.
These increasingly desperate tricksters are now calling unsuspecting iCloud subscribers by phone, alleging to be an ‘Apple employee’ in hopes that you’ll simply hand over your iCloud login credentials right over the phone, simply because they ask. While we’re certainly not suggesting that you, personally, would fall for such a trick, there may be a segment of the population who are perhaps a bit less tech-savvy, or haven’t been following this story as it’s unfolded. In either case, we highly encourage anyone and everyone who happens to receive a call from Apple, requesting the aforementioned information, to simply hang up and ignore it.
Tell your kids, tell your parents, tell the milkman if you must because, quite frankly, they’re calling an increasing number of people and they hope you’ll be the next victim to play along. And unfortunately once the iCloud login information is handed over, these hackers will have unrestricted access to your account – total freedom to buy apps, download movies, music, and run up a bill that will only be sent to you in the end.
Even worse, the frequency and prevalence of these phone scams has only increased in recent years. According to the most recent statistics from mTAB, incidences of these phone scams have gone up by as much as 30 percent since 2013, and approximately 86.2 million U.S. citizens are now receiving scam calls every single month. What’s more, iCloud is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what these nefarious cheats will try to convince you of.
“Your personal computer has a serious virus,” some mysterious caller might tell you. “But don’t you worry, pal, we can go ahead and wipe it out right here and now, if you’ll just pay us [some amount of money].”
So if anyone calls asking for sensitive information claiming they work for Apple, simply hang up the phone.