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.
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.