According to this email, which purports to be from Apple, your account was accessed in another location and the company considers this suspicious. The email urges you to open an attached file for details.
However, the email is not from Apple. Instead, it is an attempt to trick you into divulging your personal and financial information to online criminals.
Clicking the PDF file attached to the initial email opens a seemingly official Apple security notification that supposedly provides information about the suspicious login attempt. The message claims that you should click a link and change your password as soon as possible.
If you do follow the link in the PDF, you will be taken to a fraudulent website that has been built to emulate a genuine Apple sign in page.
Once on the fake site, you will be asked to sign in with your Apple ID. Next, you will be asked to provide your credit card details and other personal information, ostensibly as a means of verifying your identity and securing your account.
You will then be redirected to the real Apple website. But, now, criminals can collect the information you provided and use it to hijack your Apple account, conduct fraudulent transactions with your credit card, and attempt to steal your identity.
Service providers may sometimes send out alert emails if your account has been accessed from a new browser or device. However, these genuine alert emails will not ask you to open attached files or demand that you click a link to log in and verify your account.
Apple customers are almost continually targeted via such phishing scams. Some versions, like the one discussed here, are crudely rendered and can be easily recognized as suspect by poor or unusual spelling and grammar and an unprofessional appearance. Others may be considerably more sophisticated.
The Apple support website includes information about identifying and reporting scam emails.
An example of the scam message:
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!