Apple Locked Account Scam on Tablet Screen
Home ScamsPhishing Scams ‘You Have to Verify Billing Account’ Apple ID Phishing Scam

‘You Have to Verify Billing Account’ Apple ID Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

According to this email, which purports to be from Apple, your Apple ID was locked due to security reasons.

Supposedly, Apple has detected a sign-in from an unknown device and unusual activity from your account.

The email claims that you must verify your identity and billing details within 24 hours or your account will be disabled.

The email is not from Apple and your Apple ID has not been locked as claimed. In fact, the email is a phishing scam designed to steal your personal and financial information.

Clicking the link in the email opens a fake website that looks like it belongs to Apple. Once on the bogus site, you will be asked to sign in with your Apple ID email address and password. Next, you will be instructed to complete a “billing update” form that asks for your name, address, and contact details, your credit card details, and other identifying information.

After you submit this supposed update form, you may then be automatically redirected to the genuine Apple website.

Criminals can now collect the information you submitted and use it to hijack your Apple account. Once in your account, they can:

  • Take control of your Apple email and use it to send spam and scam in your name
  • Make fraudulent purchases with your account on the app store.
  • View and download personal files stored in iCloud
  • Conduct fraudulent transactions with your credit card
  • Attempt to steal your identity

Keep in mind that Apple will never send you a generic email demanding that you click a link to update your account information.

If you receive one of these emails, just hit the delete key. It is always safer to log in to your online accounts via a trusted app or by entering the address into your browser’s address bar.

Apple phishing scams like this are very common.  The Apple website includes information that explains how to recognise and report such scam attempts.

A screenshot of the scam email:

Apple Locked Account Scam EmailTranscript of the scam email:

Your Apple ID was locked due to security reasons. We have detected a sign-in from an unknown device and an unusual activity from your account.

Please verify your identity within 24 hours or your account will be disabled due to concerns we have for the safety and integrity of the Apple Community.

Use this link [………] to verify your account.

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,