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
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!