This Apple ID Text Scam Attempts To Steal Your Personal Information, So Be On The Lookout For Suspicious Text Messages

Another day, another phishing scam trying to steal your information. Smartphone users, consider yourself warned: There's a new Apple ID text scam circulating aimed at stealing your sensitive information, and the scammers are getting more and more clever. This latest scam looks legitimate — as in, it's so realistic that it's no surprise some people might be falling prey to it — but it absolutely isn't.

The scam looks looks something like this: You receive a text message on your phone informing you that your Apple ID or iCloud account needs to be updated before the password expires. It also directs you to an official-looking website where you're instructed to log in with your Apple ID. However, when you go to that website — which, again, is not actually an Apple website — and try to log in, it tells you that for security reasons, the account has been locked. You are then prompted to enter information like your name, address, billing information, and even passport information. The message is so deceiving because it appears to come from Apple — but in reality, it comes from a scammer. The phony website, too, is designed to look like an Apple site, although it definitely isn't at all connected to the company.

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There are ways you can protect yourself, though. For starters, you can copy and paste the link into your web browser; if the page doesn't look 100 percent familiar and secure, delete the original text message and move along — although you'll definitely need to be on the lookout for websites that are designed to mimic actual sites, as is the case with the phony website in this latest phishing scam.

Apple also provides information regarding how to protect yourself from such phishing scams, since this particular one has hit the email scene in the past. Apple's support pages on the subject remind us that the iTunes Store will never ask you to provide passwords, credit card numbers, or other sensitive account information via email; indeed, many companies including iTunes have policies in place that prevent them from doing so. As a general rule, it's a good idea not to give your personal information to someone unless you've verified their identity. If you think your account has been compromised in some way, Apple has a special email account you can contact about it (reportphishing AT apple DOT com).

According to the Apple Support website, if you receive a message with an attachment or link to any kind of non-Apple website, it's a fake. Additionally you should never enter your Apple information on these sites.

If all else fails and you're not really, really, really sure if a message you've received is legitimate, err on the side of caution and contact the company directly. Customer service should be able to confirm whether or not the message is real or a scam.

Image: jeshoots.com/Pexels; Giphy