Talking tech since 2003

Consider this post a PSA for everyone: scammers are calling people under a spoofed caller ID of Apple Inc and when you answer, an automated message plays claiming your iCloud has been breached and that you should get in touch with tech support by pressing “1” on your phone. DO NOT DO THAT.

Apple calls from scammers: don’t answer. 

I became aware of these calls when my mother frantically called me saying she received one and wasn’t sure if it was real or not. I informed her that it was in fact a scam and not to worry about it or do anything. And so I thought that would be the end of it (spoiler: it wasn’t). 

They kept calling her phone so she decided to investigate the matter a bit further (what can I say, it’s the Weisbein way) and she answered the call and pressed “1” to speak with a “tech support” representative from “Apple.”

The person on the other end of the line answered and said, “Hi, thanks for calling, how can I help you today?” (notice that they didn’t say “thanks for calling Apple”) to which my mother replied, “I didn’t call, you called me.” The voice at the other end of the phone then launched into sales pitch mode telling my mother that she needed to install some software and let these people connect to her computer to check to see if it was infected with malware and/or breached. At that point, my mother told them, “Yeah, I don’t think so,” and hung up. 

Despite her reluctance, these scammers have continued to call my house, repeatedly, and are now leaving voicemail messages that interestingly enough leave out the part where they mention an iCloud breach (that part only plays if you answer the call). I’m including a copy of the voicemail below for your listening pleasure.

How to protect yourself from scammers

I think it’s important to note some things when it comes to watching out for scams like this:

  • Companies like Apple will never call you first.
  • If someone calls you asking to remotely access your computer, the answer should always be NO.
  • If you’re unsure whether or not it’s legit, search the actual phone number on Google and see what/if any reports exist on that number. 

What to do if you were scammed

If you did fall victim to one of these scams, here’s what you need to do:

  • Uninstall any and all software these people installed on your computer. Look for software that has “remote” in the name.  
  • Install, update, and run a scan with real anti-malware software such as Malwarebytes and then remove whatever it finds.
  • Check your credit cards for weird purchases/charges and dispute anything that isn’t from you.
  • Lastly, if these scammers ask for payment, do not pay them!
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