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  • Geebo 8:01 am on September 22, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Apple, , , , , ,   

    Scam Round Up: Counterfeit Cash, Timeshares, and more 

    Getting scammed after being scammed

    By Greg Collier

    Here we are bringing you another handful of scams that you should be aware of.

    ***

    We start off with a scam out of the state of Delaware. A restaurant in the state’s capital, Dover, received a call from someone posing as the U.S. Marshals Service. The caller told an employee that they received complaints that the restaurant had been giving out counterfeit money as change. The caller also said that they would be at the restaurant in 30 minutes to ‘inspect the cash’. The employee was even threatened by the caller, stating they were currently watching the restaurant. The employee called the actual police instead. We’re not sure what the endgame of this scam was, but keep in mind that law enforcement will never call you to tell you what they’re investigating.

    ***

    In the state of New York, the Attorney General’s office is having to deal with scam letters that were sent out posing as the AG’s office. The letters indicate that the recipient is entitled to money due to a debt settled over the sale of timeshares. The NY Division of Consumer Protection has come out to let the public know that these letters are fraudulent, even though they contain the state seal. If we had to hazard a guess, we’d say that the scammers were probably trying to get New York residents to pay a ‘service fee’ to get their supposed pay out. This is known as the advance fee scam. If you get a letter like this and have doubts to its authenticity, call the agency at a phone number on their website and not one that’s on the letter.

    ***

    Police in Grand Island, Nebraska, are warning residents about a number of complaints they’ve received about scammers posing as employees of Apple. The scammers are telling residents that there has been suspicious activity on their Apple accounts and that they need to remotely access your computer to resolve the problem. As you can guess, once scammers have access to your computer, they can take all the information from it, including your banking info if you use your computer for that. Monolithic companies like Apple will never call you to tell you there’s a problem. The same goes for Microsoft, Facebook, and Google. If you can’t even call some of these companies, they’re not going to call you. Anyone who asks you for remote access to your computer is almost always going to be a scammer.

    ***

    While these scams might not be happening to you now, they could in the future. Hopefully, you’re now prepared to recognize them.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 16, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AirPods, , Apple, , , ,   

    Amazon raffle text is a scam 

    By Greg Collier

    The Better Business Bureau is reporting that they’ve received complaints in the hundreds about a new texting scam. Considering the number of people who report things to the BBB, there are probably thousands more who are receiving this scam text message. And once again, due to their popularity and ubiquity, online retailer Amazon is having their name used in this new scam. The same could be said for Apple, as one of their more popular products is being used in the scam.

    As you can see above, the text message gives off the impression that you’ve won a pair or Apple AirPods from Amazon. All you have to do is click the link in the text message. The link takes you to a fraudulent website that looks like Amazon but isn’t. You’re then asked to enter your financial information to pay for a $6 shipping charge. Except, your card isn’t charged for $6 and instead is charged for close to $100. For your trouble, you still get a pair of earbud style headphones in the mail, but they’re a cheap knockoff that are probably worth less than the supposed shipping charge.

    When it comes to things like online raffles and sweepstakes, you need to keep one rule in mind. You can’t win a contest that you didn’t enter. Corporations like Amazon don’t do random surprise drawings to give away prizes. It’s also illegal for any contest or sweepstakes to make you pay for your prize, this includes shipping. It’s also recommended that you don’t click on random links in text messages and emails. These links could lead you to scam websites such as this or inject malware into your device.

    It might be a cliché, but it’s a cliché for a reason. If sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

     
  • Geebo 9:19 am on March 11, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Apple, , icloud, , ,   

    Victim loses $15,000 in iCloud scam 

    By Greg Collier

    iCloud is Apple’s cloud storage service that it supplies to its users for free up to 5 GB of storage. If you’re not an Apple or iOS user, iCloud is akin to Google Drive, Microsoft’s One Drive, or Dropbox. A few years ago, iCloud made the headlines when a number of celebrities had the contents of their iCloud accounts leaked to the internet. So, in theory, iCloud accounts can be hacked. Scammers know this and use this fear as a way to trick their victims who may not be that technically savvy as one woman in Missouri recently discovered.

    The 86-year-old woman was expecting an important call from her daughter when she answered her phone. The person on the other line claimed that the woman’s iCloud account had been hacked along with 42 other iCloud users. The scammer then told the woman that she would need to buy gift cards in order to protect her data. Since the woman used iCloud frequently she complied. She ended up buying 29 $500 gift cards for Walmart. When store clerks asked her what all the gift cards were for, she was instructed by the scammers to tell the clerks that the cards were for her grandchildren. The scammers told her that she would be reimbursed, but instead she was out $14,500.

    Tech support scams and their variants have been around since the dawn of the internet and continue to find victims. However, these scams are easy to thwart. All you need to keep in mind is that none of the big tech companies are ever going to call you out of the blue. That includes Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and the like. The best way to keep your personal storage accounts safe is to use a password that is difficult to guess. Password managers are a great tool to assist you with this. It also helps if you don’t use the same password for multiple accounts. Again, this is where a password manager comes in handy.

    However, if someone calls you out of the blue to tell you that your account has been hacked or your computer has a virus, hang up on them. The tech companies will never call you and no one can remotely tell if you have a virus on your computer.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Apple, , ,   

    Apple sued over gift card scam 

    Apple sued over gift card scam

    We’ve always warned our readers to never pay anyone you don’t know personally in gift cards. As we like to say, gift cards are the currency of scammers due to the fact that they’re virtually untraceable. We’ve detailed as many gift card scams as we can but the gist of them is the scammer will likely pose as someone they’re not and try to pressure you into making a payment for some phony fine or fee with gift cards.

    With gift cards from major retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and eBay, scammers will buy high-end items with the gift cards. They’ll then sell the items themselves for cash.

    One of the more popular gift cards scammers like to receive are from Apple. A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Apple claiming that Apple has the capability to stop scammers from claiming the money that’s been taken from their victims. This lawsuit also gives us a better look into why some scammers prefer the Apple gift cards.

    The scammers who ask for Apple gift cards are said to own apps on the Apple App Store. This way the scammers can purchase the app over and over again with 70% of the money stolen going to the scammers. The remaining 30% is the cut Apple gets.

    The lawsuit states that Apple has been telling customers that once they’ve been scammed, there’s nothing Apple can do for them. However, Apple is said to hold on to the money owed to app owners for 4-6 weeks meaning that Apple allegedly has that time to return the money to scam victims.

    So, in theory, Apple should have no excuse for not helping scam victims as far as the lawsuit is concerned. The question then remains, why has Apple supposedly not helped scam victims in the past?

     
    • James E Doty 7:19 am on July 31, 2020 Permalink

      Same reason the big web companies won’t go after scammers & hackers, it will reduce the number of possible customers and that will effect the advertising revenue those companies rely on. Its you & me that lose money due scammers and not the internet provider, so why should they do anything about you & me losing money? It doesn’t effect their bottom line and if we want them to feel the crunch like we do then, the government should impose on these companies a duty to take half of the lose that these scammers get from us. This would place 50% blame for allowing scammers a safe haven to work. As for the companies who sell money based cards used to transfer funds, its simple and easy to fix the problem… remove the one word that protects the scammers & companies who sell those cards “Gift”. This would allow the buyer to take those who don’t keep their promises that were made in getting the person to send those cards. They made promises and didn’t keep those promise and can be taken to Small Claims Court. That one word is a scammers greatest treasure they can do whatever they want with complete immunity.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Apple, , , ,   

    Can you get your money back after a gift card scam? 

    Can you get your money back after a gift card scam?

    If you’re one of our regular readers, there’s a good chance that you’re tired of hearing about gift cards. That’s understandable, we talk about them a lot However, there is a very good reason why we talk about them all the time. If there’s a new scam going around or an old one showing a resurgence, there’s a good chance that gift cards are somehow involved.

    If you’re a new reader, the reason that scammers covet gift cards is that they’re an easy way to get virtually untraceable money from their victims. If someone is trying to pressure you into making any kind of payment through gift cards, it’s almost guaranteed to be a scam.

    For example, a couple in Arizona recently paid $13,000 in gift cards to a scammer who claimed to be from Apple and told the couple that their Apple accounts had been compromised. All they needed to do was buy $13,000 in Apple gift cards and give the gift card numbers to the phony Apple representative to get their accounts restored. They were told they would be reimbursed but they never were. The couple called Apple directly who informed them that they had been scammed.

    Unfortunately, it was too late for this couple but there is a way to prevent your money from being taken if you act quick enough. As we noted in a previous post, gift card scammers employ people they call runners. Once the scammers have the gift card numbers the runners go to various outlets to try to get the money off of the gift cards. In theory, there’s a brief window between the time you give the scammers the card numbers and the time the runners cash out the cards.

    If you realize you have just been scammed, you should immediately call the customer service number on the back of the gift cards. Remember, you still have the physical cards and the customer service representative should be able to help freeze those numbers if you get to them in time.

    Just remember that gift cards are the currency of thieves and scammers. No legitimate business or agency will ever ask you to make payment through gift cards.

     
    • roland/ruth smith 11:23 pm on June 4, 2021 Permalink

      I lost a gift card can I get my money from it?

    • Geebo 12:37 pm on June 5, 2021 Permalink

      Unless you have the number from the card, the money is probably lost. However, you may want to check with the vendor who issued the card to make sure.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 11, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Apple, ,   

    How to get the new iPhone without being ripped off 

    How to get the new iPhone without being ripped off

    Yesterday at one of their annual events, Apple announced the upcoming release of the iPhone 11. While the new generation of iPhones aren’t that much different than the iPhone X, they are said to have better cameras and better battery life along with a faster processor. Apple even took a step that they don’t normally do by offering these devices at a lower price than their predecessor. The iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are being sold at prices of $699, $999, and $1,099 respectively for the base 64GB models. If you skipped the iPhone X this may be the time for you to pick up a new device. However, you shouldn’t let your eagerness for a new phone override your common sense when it comes to getting a deal.

    As soon as new iPhones are announced, scammers are probably already looking to take your money or sell you knockoffs. The iPhone 11 does not officially go on sale online through Apple until this Friday. At 5am PT on the 13th, you’ll be able to order an iPhone 11 through Apple’s online store. Then the devices will be available through retail outlets come the 20th. While iPhones are still wildly popular, they don’t have the demand like they used to when people would camp out at Apple stores trying to get their hands on the limited supply. That doesn’t mean that scammers won’t try to make a buck off of you.

    Often, scammers will post iPhones for sale claiming that they bought two by accident and are trying to get rid of one. Or they’ll say they bought one then got another one as a gift. These could be serious red flags when it comes to buying a new iPhone second hand. If you are going to buy an iPhone second hand, try to avoid the usual scams such as wiring money to the seller. If the seller can’t meet you at a local police station then the odds are pretty good you saved yourself from fraud.

    If you miss out on the first round of orders from Apple, just be patient. After the hoopla dies down you’ll probably be able to get a decent deal from one of the top phone carriers as we get closer to the holiday season.

     
  • Geebo 8:05 am on August 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Apple, defcon, FAA, , lightning cables, , O.MG Cables, trade war   

    FAA bans Apple product from flights 

    FAA bans Apple product from flights

    Apple has carefully cultivated a reputation for itself of producing a number of reliable products. This week, the company that Steve Jobs made famous has taken some hits to that reputation.

    First, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has banned certain Apple laptops from being carried on US flights due to battery issues. The laptops in question are 15-inch MacBook Pros sold between September 2015 and February 2017 as they have been the target of a recall. The recall was issued due to the fact that in some MacBooks the battery has overheated and caused a fire hazard.

    This isn’t the first time that the FAA has banned a device from being carried aborad planes. Back in 2016, the Samsung Note 7 smartphone was banned from all flights for a similar reason. This was a huge blow to Samsung’s reputation and it has taken the phone manufacturer a while to regain consumer confidence. Will Apple see a similar backlash from frustrated travelers being told they can’t bring their MacBooks on board? It’s unlikely as Apple has such a dedicated userbase that they’ll probably just purchase updated MacBooks from Apple if need be.

    However, that’s not the only technical issue that Apple has had this week. At the cybersecurity conference known as DefCon, a security researcher unveiled an Apple charging cable that could potentially hijack an Apple device. The cables, called O.MG Cables, look like a normal Apple lightning cable that are used to charge Apple devices. However, these cables have malicious devices installed in them that could be used to hijack Apple devices from your iPhone to your MacBook. So, the moral here is to make sure that you use your own charging cable and don’t use just any charging cable you see lying around, especially if you’re at DefCon.

    Lastly, Apple has been hit with an import tariff starting September 1st. In the ongoing trade war China, the Trump Administration will put a 10 percent import tax on smartwatches, fitness trackers, smart speakers, and Bluetooth headphones. Since Apple relies heavily on Chinese manufacturing, this will have a significant effect on their bottom line. Even though Apple could probably absorb the tariff it’s more than likely that they’ll pass these expenses on to the consumer.

     
  • Geebo 10:13 am on February 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Apple, , ,   

    Apple/Facebook privacy dispute drags Google into the fray 

    Apple/Facebook privacy dispute drags Google into the fray

    Earlier this week, Facebook was caught paying users including teens for complete access to their phones. Unhappy with this, Apple struck back by not only banning the app from iOS devices but also revoked Facebook’s enterprise access which hamstrung a number of internal apps that Facebook employees needed to use just to do their daily jobs. At least one report states that some Facebook employees were considering quitting their jobs if Apple did not restore Facebook’s enterprise certificate because they couldn’t do their jobs. However, since the original kerfuffle over user privacy, Apple has restored Facebook’s enterprise access. Facebook didn’t seem to learn their lesson though as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has allegedly defended Facebook’s paid marketing research by claiming that its users consented to the program. But again, the question of consent needs to be reframed when it comes to paying minors.

    Facebook wasn’t the only tech company who felt Apple’s wrath this week as Google admitted that they had a similar research program that was also being used on Apple devices. Google came clean about their program during the initial dust-up between Apple and Facebook, however, that didn’t stop Apple from temporarily revoking Google’s enterprise access as well. While you may think that Google would be an Android-only workplace they do have to develop their most popular apps for Apple’s iOS operating system as well. Without that access, Google could have potentially lost out on having their apps on Apple devices. However, Apple has since restored Google’s enterprise access as well.

    With two of the top tech companies in the country being severely admonished by another one of the top tech companies in the country, will this be a turning point in the fight for user privacy? Unfortunately, it’s doubtful that it will be. Facebook has shown time and time again that they follow their own path when it comes to user privacy as they have continued to forge ahead with questionable privacy practices even in the face of past controversies. Meanwhile, Google has their own Android operating system that outnumbers Apple’s iOS. Consumers still demand products from Facebook and Google on their devices no matter which platform they use as there aren’t many alternatives to their services. So it still may be a while before we see Google or Facebook stop treating consumers as the actual product.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on January 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Apple, ,   

    Apple flexes its muscle and disables part of Facebook’s internal infrastructure 

    Apple flexes its muscle and disables part of Facebook's internal infrastructure

    Yesterday’s news story about how Facebook was paying some of its users to have complete access to their phones has had more far-reaching implications than some had previously thought. If you’ll recall, when the news of Facebook’s marketing app broke, Facebook pulled the app from the iOS App Store. Apparently, that wasn’t enough for Apple as they have taken what some may call drastic measures against the social media titans.

    Apple has now taken steps to revoke Facebook’s developer certificates on iOS devices. While this will mean little to the average Facebook user, internally it has struck a blow against Facebook developers using Apple products. Apple’s certificate revocation has disabled many of the intraoffice Facebook apps that Facebook employees use to do business including such things as communication apps, lunch menus, and bus schedules some employees use to get to and from work. Apple released a statement saying…

    “Any developer using their enterprise certificates to distribute apps to consumers will have their certificates revoked, which is what we did in this case to protect our users and their data.”

    Will this be the straw that breaks the camel’s back when it comes to Facebook and user privacy? Considering that not only are iPhones one of the most popular consumer electronic devices, but the fact that Facebook employees rely on them internally could cause a major backlash against Facebook both internally and externally. Would Apple even go as far as to ban the Facebook app from its app store? Apple has such a devout following among its user base it could potentially start its own social network if it wanted to and would probably draw a large chunk of Facebook’s younger demographic away from Facebook’s plateauing userbase. Or will Facebook just make the switch to Android devices for all its employees? Either way, this is a story that could have rippling effects that we will be seeing for years.

     
  • Geebo 10:17 am on January 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Apple, , , ,   

    Apple bug let you spy on friends 

    Apple bug let you spy on friends

    If you’re a fan of Apple products and are deeply entrenched within the iOS ecosystem, you’ve probably used the popular app Facetime. For those of you who may not know, Facetime is an app that allows you to make video calls to your friends on many Apple devices. While Apple prides itself on user privacy, the hacking of iCloud accounts notwithstanding, a major bug was recently discovered in Facetime that potentially allowed users to spy on their contacts.

    According to unofficial Apple new site 9 to 5 Mac, a bug in Facetime allows you to connect a Facetime call without the other party having to accept the call. In order to enact the bug, you would need to add yourself as a contact in a Facetime group call and the call would connect automatically while it appears to the other contact that they have not accepted the call yet.

    In order to prevent these types of Facetime calls from happening it was recommended that you disable Facetime in the settings of your iOS device. However, Apple has since reacted to the news of the bug by disabling group chat ion Facetime across most devices. Apple claims that there will be a patch for the bug later this week.

    This privacy gaffe comes in the wake of Apple taking out a massive billboard at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that touted their reputation of iOS devices being secure than other devices.

     
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