Email purporting to be from an entity called ‘Apple Rewards’ claims that you have 1 missed message from Apple and should click a link to access the message.
The email is not from Apple and clicking the link will not open a missed Apple message. The message is a scam designed to trick you into submitting your personal information on suspect ‘prize offer’ websites.
Subject:(1) missed message from Apple
You have (1) missed message from Apple.
According to this email, you have one missed message from Apple. The email includes a ‘Click Here’ link that supposedly allows you to view the missed message. The ‘From’ field of the email suggests that the email was sent by an entity called ‘Apple Rewards’.
But, the email has no connection whatsoever with Apple. Instead, it is a scam designed to trick you into divulging your personal information on decidedly dodgy ‘prize offer’ websites.
If you do click the link, you will be taken to a fraudulent ‘Google Rewards’ website that tries to give the impression that it is an official Google entity. The site claims – falsely – that, every Tuesday, Google randomly selects 10 Google users to receive a gift courtesy of its sponsor, Apple iPhone. And, to hurry you along, the site warns that you must fill in the survey and claim your prize within 1 minute and 21 seconds or your ‘spot’ will be given to somebody else and you will miss out on your reward. A timer in bright red counts down your remaining seconds.
The site first asks you to fill in an utterly pointless survey and then pretends to check your answers and eligibility to receive a reward. No matter what answers you give, you will always be deemed eligible to receive your ‘reward’ of an Apple iPhone.
Next, you will be instructed to click on one of several iPhone ‘offer’ links, ostensibly to claim your prize.
Clicking any of the links takes you to a third-party website that offers the chance to win further prizes in exchange for providing your name, home address, email address, and phone numbers. But, legal clauses on the site state that, by participating, you are giving permission for the site to share your personal information with direct marketing companies who will subsequently inundate you with annoying phone calls, emails, text messages, and surface letters that attempt to sell you a range of products and services you most likely neither want nor need.
Meanwhile, the scammers responsible for the bogus ‘missed message from Apple’ spam campaign will earn money every time people supply their personal details on one of the ‘offer’ websites.
And, alas, no matter how many ‘offers’ you participate in, you will never receive the promised iPhone gift, which never existed in the first place.
This ruse takes many forms and the bogus emails pretend to be a number of high profile companies, not just Apple. Similar survey scam messages are also commonly shared via Facebook.
Last updated: July 12, 2016
First published: July 12, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen
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