Apple warns users to take these steps amid alarming uptick in phishing cyberattacks

Apple has released new guidance for iPhone users amid an alarming uptick in deceptive phishing scams.

The ploys occur when hackers “use sophisticated tactics to persuade you to hand over personal details,” according to the tech giant.

Typically, scams come under the guise of emails imitating real companies, fake popup ads, and convincing phone calls known as “spoofing.”

Apple put forth new guidance warning about phishing scams. REUTERS

The latter typically appears to be from a believable phone number and may falsely warn, for example, that your iCloud has been hacked and needs to be urgently resolved. In most cases, you will ultimately be sent to a phony website to share passwords and sensitive information, Apple warned.

“Scammers use fake Caller ID info to spoof phone numbers of companies like Apple and often claim that there’s suspicious activity on your account or device to get your attention,” the company stated in the new memo.

There has been an alarming uptick in the number of phishing scams affecting phone users. Apple Inc./AFP via Getty Images

“Or they may use flattery or threats to pressure you into giving them information, money, and even Apple gift cards.”

AI has made fake voices far more believable, causing a rise in voice scams with perpetrators posing as family members. Still, conventional tactics through email — like money-stealing malware impostering Google Chrome and Microsoft Word — are also becoming much more inconspicuous.

Experts are highly concerned as cons rake in billions per year, especially targeting the elderly.

“We are at a crisis level in fraud in society,” Kathy Stokes, director of fraud prevention at AARP’s Fraud Watch Network previously said.

“So many people have joined the fray because it is pretty easy to be a criminal. They don’t have to follow any rules. And you can make a lot of money, and then there’s very little chance that you’re going to get caught.”

Phishing prevention

There are ways to be on the lookout for phishing scams. naka – stock.adobe.com

Apple advises keeping an eye out for giveaways in the fine print like sender information not matching that of a major company.

This includes uniform resource locator (URL) links that do not match a company’s site, messages that don’t parallel previous correspondence, and asking for sensitive information like a credit card or password.

It’s also critical to never share personal information like passwords and not enter them into a webpage a suspicious figure has instructed you to follow.

Use of two-factor authentication — when a second account or device is prompted to verify a login — is another safe step. Again, these codes should not be shared.

The company also advises avoiding making payments with Apple gift cards, and being cautious about downloading software, calendar invites, and opening popups.

Reference

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