BOISE, Ida. — Scams are nothing new, but they're getting harder to spot for some smartphone users. Con artists are now spoofing numbers of the biggest tech companies to try and steal personal information from unsuspecting customers.
The Better Business Bureau says a new iPhone phishing scam seems so real, it's tricking even the most tech-savvy customers into paying fake fees without them realizing they were fooled. Scammers are able to spoof the official Apple number, meaning your phone's caller ID will show it as someone calling from 1-800-MYAPPLE. The message is pre-recorded and informs you of some kind of serious threat to your phone or computer. The message may say multiple servers containing Apple user IDs have been compromised and your information is at risk or simply claim that your device has been compromised.
Scammers ask you to "Press 1" for customer service or give you a different call back number to contact. If you speak to "customer service," they'll claim your phone or computer is at extreme risk and pressure you to act immediately. They'll then ask you to give them access to your personal information or make a payment so they can fix the problem. Once the scammers have access to your data, they may block your number or simply stop answering your calls.
The best way to avoid this scam is to not trust your caller ID, even if it says a reputable company is calling. Keep in mind numbers that appear on caller ID can be easily faked. You'll also want to contact the company's customer service directly via the number listed on the company's official website should you receive a call you're unsure about. Call that number to confirm whether there is really an issue.
Always remember to never give your personal information to strangers and never give your full name, address, Social Security/Social Insurance number, banking information, or other sensitive information to strangers, especially someone who has called you unsolicited.