Watch out for “Your recent purchase with your Apple ID” scam

July 16, 2015 at 4:59 pm

Lately, I have received several e-mail messages purporting to be alerts from Apple (presumably iTunes), warning me about a purchase ostensibly made with my “Apple ID” and asking me to click a link in the message if I didn’t actually make such a purchase (which I did not).  When I hover over the link with the mouse, I can readily see that the URL clearly is not a legitimate Apple site.[1] Even if it were, I wouldn’t click it.  The message has all the hallmarks of a scam.

As a rule, never click on a link in an e-mail message unless you are absolutely, positively certain it’s legitimate.[2]  And should you be concerned that your iTunes or Apple ID has been compromised, go directly to Apple’s site by typing http://www.apple.com in your browser, rather than by clicking a link.

If you do inadvertently click a link in a “phishing” e-mail – as in “phishing” for information – don’t provide any personal information whatsoever.  That includes, but is not limited to, payment info such as a credit card number.  Sadly, the world is full of scammers, eager to take advantage of people.  And you shouldn’t assume that your spam filter, antivirus software, or firewall will intercept fraudulent e-mail messages.

When it comes to e-mail, always keep the old adage, “Better safe than sorry” in mind.

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[1]  Before clicking any link in an e-mail message, hover over it with your mouse.  That will give you some idea of whether the link is legitimate.  But even if the URL appears legit, use caution – because the potential adverse consequences (unleashing a virus, inadvertently giving a thief access to your computer, etc.) are so serious.

[2]  Unfortunately, even if the message appears to come from a trusted person, it could be a fake.  Some forms of viruses (often called “worms”) operate by raiding your address book and sending e-mail messages to your contacts, and those e-mails show your name as the sender, even though you had no hand in preparing or sending the messages.

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Tiplet: Set Outlook to open the *next* message after deletion Track changes: Display for review options (Word 2010 and 2013)


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