Several people have reported receiving an email from Apple stating that their Apple ID is locked. All indications are this is not only a scam aimed at getting your Apple ID and password, but if you look closely, you see that it is also very poorly done.
Here is the email being circulated.
At first glance, this looks pretty official and you might not see any reason not to follow the instructions, but a closer look reveals multiple items that tells you this is fake.
If you are not familiar with receiving notices from Apple you would not realize that they don’t use a black Apple logo in the center of the page. The current layout uses a gray Apple in the upper right hand corner, like this.
Also notice that the fake notice is signed “Apple Support Team” instead of the official signature “Apple Support.
Those differences in and of themselves would probably not give anything away but if you examine how poorly the fake notice is written, you might start to get suspicious.
Take a look at the first line of the fake notice which says, “Your Apple ID was sign in to iCloud With Other Devices site at:” Aside from the strange use of capital letters, the phrase was sign in is an indication that the author does not use English as the first language.
A similar error is in the next sentence where it says, “Support team detect unauthorised person accessed. You would expect the sentence to begin with something like, “The” Support team or “Our” Support team. At the very least, they should spell authorized properly.
The notice says, “If you do not update you account within 24 hours it will be temporarily limited. Does anyone know what that even means?
Finally, the signature on the message is all-wrong. An official Apple notification ends with a simple, Sincerely. We have never seen anyone use the phrase, “Thank you for your comprehension.”
Finally, if you looked at the address that the email came from, you would see that it looked like this.
There are several red flags in this email address that you should notice.
First and perhaps most obvious, there is notice n the address that references apple.com
We know that a company like Apple has more email addresses than you could possible remember, but they all have one thing in common, they all end in apple.com. Here is the address from the official Apple notice shown above.
Next, notice that the word “support” is missing a “p” in the address. But perhaps the biggest tip-off is the word “scare”, right in the address.
Even noticing a few of these issues should be a warning that something is not right.
But what if you miss all of that and click on the “UNLOCK NOW” button? You are taken to a site that looks like this.
Whomever set this up took a great deal of time to copy the actual Apple ID Log-In page. Here is the official Apple page.
At first glance, these are identical, until you look at the URL. In Safari, where URLs get sshortened by default, the address bar shows Apple Inc. If you select the URL to see the entire address it looks like this.
The fake page shows this address.
If you click on the address to see the full URL it shows this.
This is obviously not an official Apple page.
By now, we hope you would have seen enough to know this is a scam, designed to get your Apple ID and password. But even if you missed all of these signs, consider one more point.
The original email said you Apple ID had been locked. The email took you to a site that was asking you to enter your Apple ID and current password. If you account was truly locked, your current password would no longer work. Of course, by the time you might have realized that, it would be too late and the scammers would already have you information.
So, what to do?
As a general rule, you should be suspicious of any email like this. Look for signs of improper English, unusual email addresses and URLs that don’t specifically reference apple.com.
And should you get an email that claims your account is locked, we suggest before you do anything, try logging in to your account. If your current ID and password still works, the email is obviously wrong.
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