FTC Warns of Recent Surge in Robocall Scammers Pretending to Be Apple

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has issued a warning to raise awareness of a new and increasingly widespread robocall scamming scheme that pretends to be Apple and Amazon.

robocalls
The robocalls come in two versions, according to the FTC. In the first, a recorded message tells the listener of a suspicious purchase made through their Amazon account, or that the e-merchant lost or is unable to fulfill a current order.

The second version is a scam targeting Apple customers and claims suspicious activity on their iCloud account.

In both scenarios, the scammers ask people to press 1 to speak with someone or give a phone number for them to call.

"Don't do either," warns the FTC in a blog post. "It's a scam. They're trying to steal your personal information, like your account password or your credit card number."

If you get an unexpected call or message about a problem with any of your accounts, hang up.

  • Do not press 1 to speak with customer support
  • Do not call a phone number they gave you
  • Do not give out your personal information

If you think there may actually be a problem with one of your accounts, contact the company using a phone number or website you know is real.

Robocalls are a problem for users across devices created by Apple, Google, and others. While there are ways to block a number that's already called you on iOS, robocalls can repeatedly contact you using different numbers and methods, making them all the more difficult to stop.

Earlier this year T-Mobile launched a free "Scam Shield" initiative designed to block robocalls and scam calls targeting T-Mobile, Metro, and Sprint customers.

T-Mobile competitors Verizon and AT&T have similar services, but charge for some features. Verizon, for example, has a free Call Filter service that IDs spam calls, but charges $2.99 per month for features like caller ID, blocking, and spam look up.

AT&T also has a free service for blocking fraud calls, but charges $3.99 per month for caller ID, reverse number lookup, custom call controls, and more. T-Mobile says that it is challenging other carriers to offer the same free services provided to T-Mobile customers.

Tag: FTC

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Top Rated Comments

oldMac Avatar
46 months ago
I got one of these from “Apple” about 6 months ago. I knew it was a scam, so I pressed 1 just to better understand how it worked. It seemed to actually call Apple support and the support rep thought I had called him.

Presumably the call was being recorded or listened to by the scammers who had initiated it, hoping that they could capture some authentication information that I would give Apple on the call. Pretty clever.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Unsupported Avatar
46 months ago

I got a call from someone who said they were from Microsoft and that my computer had a problem they needed to look at. When I told them I don't have a "Microsoft" computer, I have an Apple computer, he said, "Oh, let me connect you to the Apple department" lolololol
I've had two if those on my landline (see my previous posts on this thread). I played along to waste their time and didn't say I had a Mac.

When they asked me to "open my computer" I told them to hold the line while I looked for a screwdriver.

I managed to waste more than 30 minutes of their time and when he eventually realised that I was playing him along he said he would "f**k you, f**k your wife, I will f**k your daughter, and I will f**k your mother!"

I asked him if f**king all these people would solve the overheating problem with my PC and he hung up.

?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
adamw Avatar
46 months ago
Stop the Robocallers and their fraud and spam solicitations. We need a better solution to stop them and protect people.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
contacos Avatar
46 months ago
I was really shocked by the amount of spam calls when I bought a prepaid SIM card for travelling in the US. I kept on getting calls from random people from "Cuba" and was like ??? this never happens here in Germany. The only ones that may call are your phone carrier but I made them stop.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
icanhazmac Avatar
46 months ago
18 calls in the same day, same number, approximately 20m apart claiming to be Apple support. Black Friday was 8 calls, different numbers each time claiming to be Amazon. If I only had a spare cruise missile and a location.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
46 months ago
Silence unknown callers is amazing. I think I had over 20 calls silenced yesterday. You know they’re all scams or some political organization looking for money.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)