CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- Police are warning residents of a possible scam utilizing fake iTunes receipts.
According to the Cape Coral Police, con artists are sending convincing looking “receipts” via email to unsuspecting people online for purchases made on Apple’s popular iTunes platform. The problem is, these receipts are phony, the charges don’t exist, and all of the links take you to somewhere that has nothing to do with Apple.
One email was even sent to the Cape Coral Police Department Neighborhood Watch.
Regardless of the company or entity the fraudster is posing as, email scams, also known as "phishing" scams, this try to convince the user that the message is sent from a legitimate source. They will go to great lengths to make the message appear legitimate, using company fonts, typefaces, and logos, even including links to what looks like the actual company website. All of this is done in hopes of tricking you into divulging your personal identifying information and credit card information.
Scammers often create an official looking email address. The "receipt" itself looks official and includes what look like legitimate links to Apple's site. However, by hovering over the links you can see that the link actually takes you to a non-Apple site (every single link in this example goes to a site other than what the link says in blue). Never click on links in unsolicited emails like this.
In this case, the fraudsters are hoping to trick the user into clicking a link and "logging in" to iTunes and confirming or updating billing information so that they can dispute charges to their account. Except that the site the link takes you to is a fraud, designed to look like iTunes. When you enter your information, the fraudsters now have your username, password, and credit card information. You've just been "phished" or hacked.
Here are some tips for dealing with e-mail scams:
- Delete email and text messages that ask you to confirm or provide personal information (credit card and bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, passwords, etc.). Legitimate companies don't ask for this information via email or text.
- The messages may appear to be from organizations you do business with – banks, for example. They might threaten to close your account or take other action if you don’t respond.
- Don’t reply, and don’t click on links or call phone numbers provided in the message, either. These messages direct you to spoof sites – sites that look real but whose purpose is to steal your information so a scammer can run up bills or commit crimes in your name.
- Area codes can mislead, too. Some scammers ask you to call a phone number to update your account or access a "refund." But a local area code doesn’t guarantee that the caller is local.
- If you’re concerned about your account or need to reach an organization you do business with, call the number on your financial statements or on the back of your credit card.
For more information on how to protect yourself from email scams, go to https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0003-phishing