Home ScamsPhishing Scams Apple ID ‘Security Notice’ Phishing Scam

Apple ID ‘Security Notice’ Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline:
‘Security Notice’ email purporting to be from Apple claims that your Apple ID has been locked because the company noticed an attempt to sign into your account from an ‘unrecognized device’. The email lists the date, time and location of the supposed access attempt.

Brief Analysis:
The email is not from Apple. It is a phishing scam designed to steal your Apple ID credentials and other personal and financial information. There are many versions of this scam message.  If you receive one, do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains.

Example:
Subject: ӀD: 237176293
Security NoticeThis is to inform you that your apple id has been locked for security reasons.
The reason we took this action is as follows:

On [specified date and time], we noticed an attempt to sign in to your account from an unrecognised device in United State.

To safeguard your information we require you to unlock your apple id by clicking the link below.

Unlock Apple ID↦

Please Note: Failure to unlock your Apple ID can lead to permenant suspension of services associated with this Apple ID [Email address}.

Apple ID Security Notice Scam Email


Detailed Analysis:
According to this ‘Security Notice’ email, which purports to be from Apple and includes the Apple logo, your Apple account has been locked for security reasons.  The message claims that Apple noticed ‘an attempt to sign in to your account from an unrecognised device’ from a specified country on a specified date and time.

The email instructs you to click an ‘Unlock Apple ID’ link to safeguard your information and regain access to your account. It also warns that failing to unlock the ID can lead to permanent suspension of your Apple services.

However, the email is not from Apple and the claim that your Apple account has been locked is a lie. The email is a phishing scam designed to steal your Apple login details along with other sensitive personal and financial information.

If you click the ‘Unlock’ link you will be taken to a fraudulent website that emulates a genuine Apple web page and asked to log in with your Apple ID and password. After you have ‘logged in’ on the bogus site, you will be taken to a web form that asks you to supply your credit card details, your name and address, and other personally-identifying information. At the end of the process, you may see a message stating that you have successfully unlocked your account.

Meanwhile, the criminals operating this phishing campaign can collect all of the information you submitted and use it to hijack your Apple account and commit credit card fraud and identity theft.

There have been a number of versions of the above scam. Details such as the date, time, and location of the supposed security breach may vary in different versions of the scam. Be wary of any email claiming to be from Apple that demands that you click a link or open an attached file to deal with a supposed account suspension or similar issue.  Apple will not send you these types of emails. If you receive such an email, do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains. Always access your Apple account by entering the address into your browser’s address bar or via an official Apple app.

The Apple website includes more information about such phishing scams and how to report them.


Importance Notice

After 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 You

I 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 Date

Hoax-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!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer