ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Saying no to this scam could get you into big trouble. It’s another case where the delete button can be your best friend.
Fraudulent emails that look like they’re from Apple have been going out, regarding a supposed purchase of a new $72.99 app. In one version, the email contains an authentic-looking receipt with a purported purchase of Line, a legitimate app that offers free one-on-one and group texting.
The odds are good that you did NOT buy this particular app, and you will be greatly tempted to point that out. That’s exactly what the scammers want you to do, and they tell you in a highly ungrammatical way: “If this is not your transaction, we will help the process of recovery refund and protect your account. press the button below.”
The link however, once pressed, will take you to a fake Apple website, which will ask you to log in by providing your email address and password, according to Scam Detector, a fraud prevention service.
“Once you give the crooks that information, you can rest assured that your account will be hacked,” according to Scam Detector.
This scam is, by the way, similar to others recently that have mimicked PayPal and eBay confirmation orders.
In this case, a tipoff is the following subject line: “[Order Received: MH6FBTX82G]: Your Receipt From Apple.” Or it might simply be “Receipt from Apple App Store.”
Another tipoff that applies in general to scam email is bad grammar and misspelled words.
Also, notice the domain name that shows up in your browser. In this case, what shows up is “login-verif.cloud,” not apple.com.
As always, do not click on links in emails. Instead, hit delete.
The best thing to do is to log into your account straight from the Apple website/account, Scam Detector says.
◊ ◊ ◊
While travel during this new year might be nice, don’t fall for an offer of two free round-trip airline tickets to anywhere in the United States.
Letters that claim to be from a national travel or tourism association have made such offers nationwide, although they’re tailored to specific cities. Albuquerque residents, for example, have gotten a version that makes reference to flights out of the Sunport.
Better yet, you also get two free nights at a Marriott. Total retail value of the award is $1,288, according to the letter hitting mail boxes. It claims to be the final notification because “previous attempts to reach you have been unsuccessful.”
The letter includes a claim number and phone numbers to call to accept your prize.
If you call, chances are “a high-pressured salesperson” will say you must first attend a presentation to claim the vouchers. There, you likely will face more pressure to pay a hefty amount of upfront fees.
“When receiving any correspondence promising something for nothing, beware,” says Scam Detector. “You will most likely be pressured into making a purchase that is often more expensive than the price of two legitimate airline tickets.”
◊ ◊ ◊
Beware of this one, which comes courtesy of your phone.
An automated voicemail warns that your credit card interest rates are going up “effective tomorrow,” but you can keep that from happening by taking part in a special program designed to maintain the lower rate.
The robocaller invites you to participate by pressing 1 to talk to a credit card company representative. The person at the other end proceeds to ask for your Social Security and credit card number to verify your identity. Classic identity theft scenario.
“What to do? Simple,” says Scam Detector. “Just hang up the call if it is an automated message, regardless of what it is about: lower rates, free trip, bonus loyalty points, etc.”
If you’re interested in lowering your credit card rates, call your company and do your own research.
Ellen Marks is assistant business editor at the Albuquerque Journal. Contact her at email@example.com or 505-823-3842 if you are aware of what sounds like a scam. To report a scam to law enforcement, contact the New Mexico Consumer Protection Division toll-free at 1-844-255-9210.