People are reporting receiving calls that purport to be from Apple’s Special Investigations Unit telling them that illegal child pornography has been discovered on you cloud account.  The phony investigator is sympathetic when you inform them that you never stored child pornography on the cloud or anywhere else.  He or she tells you that most likely the child pornography was somehow planted by a hacker on your computer and it is being backed up in the cloud.  In order to remedy the problem, the phony Apple investigator tells you he or she needs remote access to your computer in order to locate and remove the child pornography from your computer.  The cost of this service can be as high as thousands of dollars which the phony investigator requests be paid through Amazon gift cards.   This scam presents a double whammy.  Victims of the scam not only pay the scammer for services they don’t need, but by providing remote access to their computers, they enable the scammer to install a wide variety of malware that can lead to identity theft and further scams.

TIPS

Even if your Caller ID indicates that the call is coming from Apple, your Caller ID can be manipulated easily through a technique called “spoofing” by which the scammer can make your Caller ID read whatever he or she wants it to read.  One way you can be sure if you receive such a call that it is a scam is that neither Apple nor any other tech company is going to call to inform you that there is child pornography on your computer. Also, Apple does not have a Special Investigations Unit.  Additionally, legitimate tech companies do not accept Amazon gift cards or any other form of gift card as payment for their services.  As for enabling someone to have remote access to your computer, you should never do so unless you have absolutely confirmed that the remote access is legitimately warranted and the person to whom you are giving the remote access is also legitmate.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”