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BBB Alert: New iPhone Phishing Scam

Keep an eye out for this new iPhone phishing scam

Rockford, IL – April 22, 2022 – The Better Business Bureau is getting reports of phony emails that appear to be a receipt for a new iPhone…. that you didn't buy.

“If you get this email, do not respond,” says Dennis Horton, director of the Rockford Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau. “This phishing scam looks like an honest mistake, but it’s not. Scammers are hoping you’ll panic and contact them to correct the ‘error.’”

How the scam works
You receive an email or voice mail saying you purchased a new iPhone, and your Amazon account, bank account, or credit card will be charged. But you didn’t buy a new phone! Eager to reverse the charge, you call the customer service number included in the message. The email/voice mail may even specifically say: “Didn’t make this purchase? Contact us at…” or “If you feel you are receiving this message in error, contact us immediately.”

When you call the number, you speak to a helpful customer service representative who says they can fix the problem. However, you must act immediately before the charge posts to your account.

One consumer reported: “I called the number to get a refund. I told them there wasn’t a purchase on my account for $999.00, and they told me it wouldn’t show up for 24 hours and that’s why I need to cancel it right away.” The scammer asked the consumer to download an app as part of the refund process. When the consumer refused, the scammer hung up on them.

Con artists also told victims that their accounts had been hacked. In these cases, the “customer service rep” asked for a credit card or bank information, claiming they needed it to cancel the sale. No matter what scammers say, don’t fall for it. Remember, con artists often stoop to scare tactics to trick you into action.

BBB advice on how to spot these scams:
  • Do not call the number contained in the email/voice mail. It could be a trap. If the message says they are calling from a company or bank to verify your purchase, it is important to call the number that you know for the bank, store or Amazon directly.
  • Double-check the sender’s email address. Phishing emails are usually designed to look like they come from a reputable source like your bank or Amazon. But look closely at the sender’s email to see if it’s really from an official source.
  • Check your bank for charges first. If you receive an email claiming that you’ve made a purchase, check your bank or credit card account. If the change isn’t there, it’s likely a scam. Don’t contact the scammers. Instead, erase the email and block the sender.
  • Never click on suspicious links. It’s best not to click on links in unsolicited emails you receive from unknown senders. These links could download malware onto your computer or mobile device, making you vulnerable to identity theft.

For more information
Learn how to identify fake emails. If you have spotted a scam, whether or not you lost money, please report it at BBB.org/ScamTracker. Your report exposes scammer tactics and helps protect your community. Visit BBB.org or follow us @ChicagoBBB on social media.
Sign up for BBB’s free consumer newsletter, BBB Edge, at BBB.org/ChicagoBuzz.
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About BBB:
BBB of Chicago and Northern Illinois is a nonprofit organization that has served both consumers and trustworthy businesses for over 95 years and is a part of the IABBB. We help protect consumers from scams and provide a free database for consumers to see business ratings and reviews to find businesses they can trust. We connect customers to businesses they can trust. BBB is the sign of a better business.

The International Association of Better Business Bureaus (IABBB) is the network hub for BBBs in the US, Canada and Mexico. Like BBBs, IABBB is dedicated to fostering honest and responsive relationships between businesses and consumers -- instilling consumer confidence and advancing a trustworthy marketplace for all. Please visit BBB.org for more information
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