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VERIFY: Beware of new Apple iTunes phishing emails?


All over Facebook and Twitter people are complaining about Apple iTunes emails claiming they bought something they didn't and asking for personal info like credit cards and social security numbers. Are the emails legit?


Nope, fishy phishing emails!


Apple Support


Viewer Clarence Hickey from Aspen Hill, Maryland did the right thing. He smelled something fishy when an email allegedly from Apple iTunes asked for his credit card and social security numbers.

"I'm wondering if this is a scam and whether you can Verify," Clarence said.

The said Clarence had purchased a $103 mobile game, but he hadn't used iTunes in years.

The Verify team was on it.

To get our answer went to Apple Support and learned why Clarence's "bill" was a phishing scam. The email is doctored to look like its coming from Apple, even including a fake order number and mimicking the look of their receipts.

But Apple Support says there are clues here to raise a few flags:

  • The sender's email address or phone number doesn't match the name of the company that it claims to be from.
  • You email address or phone number is different from the one that you gave the company.
  • The message starts with a generic greeting, like "Dear customer." Most legitimate companies will include your name in their messages to you.
  • A link appears to be legitimate but takes you to a website whose URL doesn't match the address of the company's website.
  • The message looks significantly different from other messages that you've received from the company.
  • The message requests personal information, like a credit card number or account password.
  • The message is unsolicited and contains an attachment.

The email sent to Clarence hits almost every one of these bullet points. Besides that, Clarence says he never downloads games onto his phone.

The allegedly game purchased is free on iTunes. There's an option to get better game features --that costs money. But those features can only be bought when you've already installed the app on your phone.