Email purporting to be from the Apple iTunes Store claims that your order has been placed and notes that, if you did not authorise the purchase, you should click a ‘cancel’ link.
The email is not from Apple and the information it contains about a supposed order is not valid. The email is a phishing scam designed to trick you into sending your Apple ID and other personal and financial information to cybercriminals.
Subject: Your Order Has Been Placed
Apple: Order Number:166815548465iTunes Store
Thank you for buying the following product on 03/03/2016
Product Name:F1-Pilot Premium(R)
Order total:19.02 EUR.
We hope that our tools and solutions have improved the way you do business this year.
If you did not authorize this purchase, please proceed with “Cancellation Form”
Cancel this Purchase
According to this email, which claims to be from Apple, you have placed an order via the iTunes Store. The email lists some information for the supposed order including the product name, order total and receipt date. It also advises that, if you did not authorise the listed purchase, you should click a ‘Cancel this Purchase’ link to fill in a cancellation form.
However, the email is not from Apple and it does not contain valid information about an iTunes purchase. Instead, the email is a phishing scam designed to steal your personal and financial information. The criminals operating this scam campaign hope that you will click the ‘cancel’ button in the mistaken belief that an unauthorised iTunes transaction has been made via your account.
If you click the link in the hope of cancelling the supposed order, you we be taken to a fraudulent website designed to look like the real Apple ID login page. After entering your Apple ID and password, you will be taken to another page on the fake site that contains a bogus cancellation form. The form will ask for your name and contact details, your credit card numbers, and other identifying information, ostensibly so that the order cancellation can be processed and the money returned to your account. At the end of the process, you may be taken to another page that claims that you have successfully cancelled the order.
However, all of the information you submitted can be collected by criminals and used to hijack your Apple account, as well as commit credit card fraud. Your Apple ID gives access to all of Apple’s services, so once they have it, the criminals can steal information you have stored on iCloud, access and use your email account, and use iTunes and App Store to make fraudulent purchases. They may also collect enough information about you to allow them to steal your identity.
Phishing scams like this one regularly target Apple customers. Be wary of any email about an order that you never made or that claims that you must update account details to avoid an account suspension or deal with some other account issue. If you receive such an email, do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains.
It is always safest to login to your Apple account by entering the address into your browser’s address bar or via a legitimate Apple app.
The Apple website includes information about identifying and reporting such phishing messages.
Last updated: April 11, 2016
First published: April 11, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen