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  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 11, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AirTags, Apple, , , , , ,   

    Scammers use AirTags to steal cars 

    Scammers use AirTags to steal cars

    By Greg Collier

    If you’re not familiar with AirTags, they’re a device sold by Apple that is essentially a tracking device. AirTags are intended to be used on things you don’t want to lose, such as keys and luggage. Some have even attached AirTags to their pets’ collars, so they can be located quickly if they get out. However, bad actors have used AirTags for more nefarious purposes. Unfortunately, there have been numerous instances of stalkers using AirTags to track their victims. Car thieves are also infamous users of AirTags.

    One such car thief was recently arrested in Minnesota, after a potential victim discovered his scam. The thief allegedly stole cars, then sold them to unsuspecting buyers on Facebook Marketplace. The cars would have an AirTag planted on them, so the thief could go back after the sale and steal the car back to sell it again.

    The Minnesota buyer felt like something was wrong with the sale when they were given a freshly cut key and a car title that felt like it was printed on the wrong type of paper. The risk in using AirTags in a scam like this is anyone nearby with an iPhone will be notified there’s an AirTag in their vicinity. The buyer’s wife did have an iPhone and received one of these notices. The buyer notified police, who apprehended the alleged scammer.

    Car thieves will also use AirTags to mark cars they want to steal at a later time. For example, a car thief could spot a car in a parking lot. Then, after attaching an AirTag somewhere on the vehicle, the thief can wait until the car is parked somewhere it would be easier to steal.

    If you use an iPhone and receive an AirTag notification, you’ll also be given an option to have the AirTag make a noise, This way, you’ll hopefully be able to locate the AirTag, and stop it from tracking you or your vehicle.

    If you’re thinking you’re out of luck because you have an Android Phone, we have some good news for you. Android also has an ant-stalking feature that will detect AirTags and similar trackers. Navigate to the Settings menu, select “Safety and Emergency,” and then access the “Unknown Tracker Alerts” option. Here, you have the option to toggle automatic scanning on or off and manually initiate a scan to check for the presence of any unidentified AirTags that might have been accompanying you.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on February 8, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Apple, , , , macOS, , ,   

    Scam Round Up: Scammers entering seniors’ homes and more 

    By Greg Collier

    This week in the Round Up, we have an old scam that homeowners should still be aware of. We also have two new scams, with one of them having chilling implications.


    Do you know why we’re always talking about Windows pop-up scams and not Apple ones? It’s not because macOS is any more secure than Windows. It’s mainly because Apple only has 17.2% of the market share when it comes to computers. Essentially, it’s not worth it for scammers and hackers to target Mac users. That doesn’t mean that macOS is completely free of scams.

    Recently, at least one Mac user has reported getting a scam pop-up on their Mac. It was disguised as one of macOS’ notification pop-ups. It was even complete with the system settings icon. The pop-up says that your iCloud account has been hacked and asks the user to click here to remove the virus. Your iCloud account being hacked and having a virus are two separate things. Never click on anything that says click here now when it comes to potential security risks on your Mac.

    If history is any indicator, if you click the notification, you’ll either have malware injected into your device, or you’ll be taken to a scam site that will ask for your personal information.


    Minnesota’s homeowners are being warned about letters that tell them their home warranty is about to expire. These are scam letters which are trying to get you to divulge your credit or debit card information to the scammers. According to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, these scammers will try to tell you that they have some kind of arrangement with the mortgage company, HOA, or county deeds office.

    If you receive a letter like this, just dispose of it. If you’re looking to purchase a home warranty, always check for reviews and complaints to make sure the company is legitimate.


    Lastly, the residents of Pulaski County in Virginia are being warned of a disturbing scam that’s targeting seniors. Authorities there have reported that a number of seniors have had scammers showing up to their homes posing as agents of the state’s Department of Health. Once inside the home, the scammers are asking victim’s for personal information and taking pictures of the homes’ interiors.

    If someone like this approaches your home, always ask to see their identification. Also, don’t be hesitant to call police if they start pressuring you to enter your home.


    As always, just because these scams aren’t currently happening in your area, doesn’t mean they won’t come there eventually. Now you have the knowledge to protect yourself from them.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 6, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Apple, , , ,   

    Beware when buying gift cards for the holidays 

    Beware when buying gift cards for the holidays

    By Greg Collier

    Gift cards are one of the most talked about topics on this blog. Typically, it’s because gift cards are the currency of scammers. If someone asks you to pay them in gift cards, you’re likely being scammed. However, there is another problem with gift cards, even if you’re buying them for their intended purpose.

    Scammers and other cybercriminals will go into stores and record the information from the back of gift cards. They’ll then wait for someone to put funds on those cards. Once that’s done, the scammers will use the funds on those cards for themselves.

    This recently happened to a mother from the San Francisco Bay Area who was trying to buy Apple gift cards for her daughter. She bought a card at a supermarket and put $100 on it. When her daughter went to use the card, the funds were already gone. The mother then went to a pharmacy to get another Apple gift card, and again by the time she gave the card to her daughter it was already empty. She was eventually able to get a legitimate card from an Apple Store.

    Gift card scammers will often go into various stores and scratch the security strip from the card. They’ll document the card number before replacing the security strip with a sticker.

    There are some ways to protect yourself against this scam. First, you should always make sure the card has not been tampered with by inspecting the back of the card. Take a handful of cards from the rack and make sure they’re similarly marked on the back. Scammers will often place tampered cards up front to get the money quicker. Try purchasing a card from the middle of the pack instead.

    When buying gift cards, pay for them with a credit card whenever possible. A credit card will give you better protection against loss than if you had paid for the cards with cash or a debit card.

    If you receive a card that’s been emptied, you can try to contact the customer service number that’s on the back of the card. However, they can rarely ever get the money back or offer a refund.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 22, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Apple, bing, , , fake ads, , ,   

    iPhone scam is symptom of bigger problem 

    iPhone scam is symptom of bigger problem

    By Greg Collier

    Recently, an iPhone user was locked out of her new iPhone. On her husband’s phone, she did a Google search for ‘Apple Customer Service’ and called the number she found. The person on the other end of the call said they’d be happy to help her out. Except, the woman hadn’t really called Apple. Instead, she had called a phony customer support number run by scammers. These scammers had accessed her iPhone and were able to use her Zelle app to steal $1500. However, this scam is not exclusive to either Apple or Google.

    This scam is a version of the tech support scam. Instead of trying to trick victims into believing there’s a virus on their device, this scam waits for someone with a tech problem to call the scammers. In these cases, the scammers take out ads on popular search engines. Not just Google, but Bing and Duck Duck Go as well. The scammers will submit a flurry of ads to these companies in hopes just a handful get through the vetting process. If the ads get approved, they can be listed at the top of the search engine rankings. While the search engine companies claim to be on top of the problem, scammers continue to have their ads for phony customer services approved.

    There are ways to protect yourself from this scam. The first is when you’re doing a web search, make sure the listing you’re about to click on doesn’t have a tiny ad indicator near it. These are usually little text boxes that say ‘Ad’, but sometimes have a color that’s similar to the page’s background. Another way to protect yourself is by going to the manufacturer’s website directly. For example, instead of doing a web search for Apple Customer Service, just go directly to apple.com in your device’s web browser. From there you should be able to find the customer support number if the company has one.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 28, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Apple, , , ,   

    Couple loses $350K In Apple scam 

    By Greg Collier

    To be honest, there’s not a lot of information about this story. The report that we’ve read spends more time discussing the amount lost to the scammers, which, to be fair, is a lot. However, we can assume how the scam worked from previous scams in a similar vein. But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

    An elderly couple from the state of Michigan are said to have lost $350,000 to a tech support scam. The couple reportedly withdrew money from several different accounts to send money to the scammers through a Bitcoin ATM.

    The county sheriff’s office where this scam took place says that they are familiar with scams like this, but this is the largest amount lost they’ve ever seen.

    What we do know about the scam is that the couple received a message on their computer that appeared to come from Apple Computers with a phone number to call.

    This sounds a lot like the pop-up scams that claim to be from Microsoft. These pop-ups, which can lock up your computer, say things like your computer has a virus, or is in danger of being hacked. These pop-ups usually also instruct victims to call a phone number to resolve the issue.

    When a victim calls one of these phony customer service numbers, they’ll be told some outlandish tale about how their computer is being hacked, and the hackers are about to steal all the victim’s money. The victim will then be instructed that in order to protect their money, they need to move it somewhere safe. This is when the scammers will direct the victim to withdraw their money from their bank accounts and send it to the scammers in the forms of gift cards, cryptocurrency, or some other form of untraceable payment.

    What many victims don’t know is that companies like Apple, Microsoft, or Google don’t really know whether your computer has been compromised or not. If you receive one of these pop-up messages, turn your computer off. Hold down the power button until it turns off, if you need to. If the pop-ups continue, you may need to run a malware scan using a product like Malwarebytes. Malware and viruses are more likely to affect computers that run Microsoft Windows than Apple computers.

    If you still can’t get your computer to function properly, try taking the device to a computer repair store. It will cost you a lot less in the end than sending the money to scammers.

    But whatever you do, do not call the phone number in the pop-up message.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 17, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Apple, , ,   

    Apple sued for gift card scam 

    Apple sued for gift card scam

    By Greg Collier

    We’ve said many times in the past that gift cards are the currency of scammers. Scammers frequently try to get their victims to pay in gift cards, since the cards can be drained if their funds almost instantly. Rarely do gift card scam victims ever get their money back. The retailers who issue these gift cards typically say that there’s nothing they can do once the gift card is spent. However, an ongoing lawsuit may have retailers changing their tune.

    Apple is being sued in a class action lawsuit over their gift cards. Apple gift cards are highly sought after by scammers since they can use them to purchase high-end laptops and phones, then sell them for a profit. Although, the lawsuit claims that there is another use for Apple gift cards where Apple profits along with the scammers.

    The lawsuit contends that Apple profits from these scams since scammers will use the gift cards to buy an app from the Apple App Store multiple times. The scammers run these apps and get a large cut from their sale. In turn, Apple gets a 30% cut of those sales. Apple is accused of allegedly being in a position to return the ill-gotten funds to victims, but chooses not to. According to the suit, Apple holds 100% of those funds for 4-6 weeks before paying the app developer/scammer.

    Apple had been trying to have the suit dismissed, claiming that they have a refund policy printed on the gift cards that says no refund is possible once the card has been redeemed. Recently, a judge dismissed this claim, allowing the lawsuit to proceed.

    It will be interesting to see if Apple will be held liable. If so, it may change the gift card scam economy. But don’t think this will slow scammers down any. Many scammers have already stopped asking for money in gift cards and instead are now asking for money in cryptocurrency, most commonly Bitcoin.

    As always, the best way to avoid many of the gift card scams is to keep in mind that no legitimate business or agency will ask for payment in gift cards.

  • 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.

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