Have you recently received an emailed bill for a Netflix account you don’t remember paying for? Then you might be being scammed — but not how you think.
This Is Money reports that criminals have started sending fraudulent emails out to potential victims, purporting to be from Apple. The emails look legitimate, and pretend to be receipt for purchases made on the target’s iTunes or App Store account — sometimes including a subscription to Netflix.
The victim freaks out, assuming that someone has managed to gain access to their account and is using it to pay for Netflix, and clicks the “refund” or “manage subscriptions” link in the email.
This then takes them to a website masquerading as the Apple website, which prompts them to enter their account and credit card details for the “refund” to go through.
And just like that, the victim is tricked into handing over their bank details to the scammers.
The scam isn’t just limited to fake Netflix subscriptions. Albums from iTunes have been seen used too — and theoretically, the scam could work with any kind of online shop. A fake Amazon email might claim someone used your account to buy a piano, or a fraudulent eBay email might pretend you’ve bought a car.
To avoid being stung, always check the email address sending a suspicious email — and because the email sender can be spoofed, always make sure any links it wants you to click are to legitimate versions of the company’s website. If in doubt, navigate to it independently via your browser, rather than relying on the links provided in a suspect message.
“The iTunes Store will never ask you to provide personal information or sensitive account information (such as passwords or credit card numbers) via email,” Apple says.
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