We have helped a few customers recently who have inadvertently installed malware or spyware after visiting a website or receiving a call pretending to be Apple. They were advised their Mac was locked, slow or infected by a virus. To resolve they need to pay for support and/or to install software.
Beware of fake Apple Support pages
When browsing the web you might get prompted by a page claiming to be Apple support which prompts you to install software, run a scan or call a support number. Please be aware that all these pages are fake!
Their aim is to try and scam you out of your money or install malicious applications that may even be used to spy on you. These fake pages seem very realistic and authentic and they play on people’s need to protect themselves and often will be offered as a free service or tool.
Apple Support DOES NOT need extra software to help you remotely, they can use your iCloud account to send a request to the Mac you are enquiring about and upon you granting them access they can see your screen remotely. These ‘technicians’ are definitely not Apple, they are just pretending to be. Every other company, even Your Mac Tech, relies on third party software to be able to assist you remotely, software like Log me in or TeamViewer.
Unfortunately remote support software is available to anyone and can be used by these criminals against you. Just remember if they claim to be Apple then they are fake as Apple will never use these tools for remote support.
How does the scam work?
Typically the scam goes like this:
- Fake webpage appears but looks authentic
- It attempts to convince you that you have a virus
- You follow the page’s instructions to call support or download some software
- You grant them access to connect to your computer
- They open any app or run commands in order to convince you of a problem like a virus
- They inform you that they will fix the problem for a fee
Please Note: This is the second give away that they are NOT Apple, as Apple will never charge you for phone support, if you are out of warranty they may chose not to help you but they will not charge you money over the phone
- They will try to charge your credit card
Warning: If you have experienced this and provided financial details you should contact your bank ASAP to discuss options.