Message purportedly sent by Apple’s security system claims that your iTunes account has been frozen because Apple was unable to validate your account information.
The email is not from Apple and your iTunes account has not been frozen as claimed. The email is a phishing scam designed to steal your Apple ID and password, your credit card details, and other sensitive personal information.
Subject: Itunes account frozen . Issue #174928
Dear iTυnes Cυstοmer,This is an automatic message sent by our security system to let you know that you have 24 hours to confirm your account information.Your itunes account has been frozen because we are unable to validate yοur account information.Once you have updated your account records, we will try again to validate your information and your account suspension will be lifted. This will help protect your account in the future. This process does not take more than 3 minutes. To proceed to confirm your account details please click on the link below and follow the instructions.Click Here Validate Your Account.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Apple Security Department
According to this email, which purports to be from the Apple Security Department, your iTunes account has been frozen because Apple was unable to validate yοur account information.
The email warns that you have just 24 hours to click a link and confirm your account. It claims that, once you have updated your account records, Apple will try again to validate your information and lift the account suspension.
However, the email is not from Apple and the claim that your account has been frozen is a lie. The email is a phishing scam designed to steal your Apple ID and password, your credit card numbers, and other identifying personal information.
If you click the link in the scam email, you will be taken to a fraudulent website that has been built to closely emulate a genuine Apple webpage. The fake page will instruct you to begin the “account validation” process by logging in with your Apple ID and password.
Once you have logged in, an “update” form will open in your browser. It will ask you to provide your name, phone numbers, and address as well as your credit card details. It may also ask for other sensitive information such as your driver’s licence number or social security number.
After you have filled in and submitted the form, you may see a final message stating that you have successfully validated your account and the account suspension has therefore been lifted.
But now, the criminals responsible for this phishing attack can hijack your Apple account, use it to conduct fraudulent transactions, steal personal information stored within, and send spam and scam messages via your email account.
They can also use your credit card to conduct further fraudulent transactions.
And, if they have been able to collate enough of your personal information, they may also be able to steal your identity.
Apple phishing scams similar to this one are very common and take many forms. Be wary of any email or text message purporting to be from Apple that demands that you click a link or open an attached file to verify your information or deal with a supposed account problem. Apple will not send you unsolicited emails that make such demands.
Apple has published information about phishing scams and how to report them on its website.
Last updated: September 26, 2016
First published: September 26, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen