Phishing emails, by which scammers and identity thieves attempt to lure you into either clicking on links contained within the email which download malware or trick you into providing personal information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft, are nothing new.   They are a staple of identity thieves and scammers and with good reason because they work.

Reproduced below is a copy of an Apple phishing email, sent to me by a Scamicide reader that uses the common ploy of indicating that there is a situation that requires your immediate attention. The version sent to the Scamicide reader contained an Apple logo and what appeared to be standard language at the bottom of the email which are not reproduced below. There are a number of telltale flaws in this particular phishing email.   Although the email address from which it was sent appears to be legitimate, upon closer examination you can determine it is not an official email address of Apple. As phishing emails go, this one is pretty good, however, as short as it is, it manages to have a grammatical error in the very first line.

Here is the text of the phishing email.  The actual phishing email had links where it reads “Read now” and “see our frequently asked questions” that I have removed.

“You have unread message that will be deleted in 5 days.

Read now

For more information, see our frequently asked questions.

Thanks.

AppStore Customer Support”

TIPS

Obviously if you do not have an account with Apple you know that this is a phishing scam, but even if you do have an account with Apple, as I indicated above there are a number of indications that this is not a legitimate email from Apple, but instead is a phishing email. Legitimate companies would refer to your specific account number in the email.  They also would specifically direct the email to you by your name.  This email had no salutation whatsoever.

As with all phishing emails, two things can happen if you click on the links provided.  Either you will be sent to a legitimate looking, but phony webpage where you will be prompted to input personal information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft or, even worse, merely by clicking on the link, you may download keystroke logging malware that will steal all of your personal information from your computer or smartphone and use it to make you a victim of identity theft.  If you receive an email like this and think it may possibly be legitimate, merely contact Apple customer service where you can confirm that it is a scam.  Here is a link to Apple customer service.  https://www.apple.com/contact/

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