[Up: Back again] Apple ID 'locked for security reasons' scam text: Here's what you need to know
New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….
Original story (published on August 1, 2022) follows:
iOS is renowned for complex and intricate security compared to other operating systems. As a result, most scammers and hackers resort to phishing.
Phishing is a very sophisticated hacking method in which users are tricked into providing their Apple ID and password through the use of social engineering techniques.
Apple ID ‘locked for security reasons’ scam text
For instance, some iOS users have been receiving messages that their Apple ID has been locked, asking them to click on the attached link to unlock it (1,2,3,4,5).
Today’s spam text is about my Apple ID being locked. Despite not having one. But the real gem is the signature:
“Copyright © 2022 Apple Distribution International, Hollyhill Industrial Estate, Hollyhill, Cork, Irlande.
All rights reserved.”
The embedded link takes them to a fake Apple log-in page. When unsuspecting users enter their Apple ID credentials, scammers gain access to their accounts.
The goal is to make users click on the attached phishing link and use their IDs for identity theft.
How to protect yourself
With scammers getting smarter, such scams are becoming hard to stop. But there are some preventive measures that one could take to avoid being scammed.
1. Just check the sender: Official texts usually come from 5-digit numbers instead of standard numbers.
2. Grammatical errors and misspelled words: One of the easiest methods out there that you can use to identify is just checking the formation of sentences or looking for grammatical errors.
3. Urgency and deadlines: They use emotional manipulation and always have a very short deadline in order to create panic and make you fall for the scam.
4. Extension of link in the message: Furthermore, Apple will never send any links via bit.ly or other third-party URL shorteners.
And lastly, if you are unsure whether the message is real or not just contact Apple support through official channels and clear your doubt.
If you have been locked out of your Apple ID, you need to reset your password to regain access to it. Here are a few ways to do that:
Reset your Apple ID password on your iPhone or other trusted Apple device
1. Go to Settings.
2. Tap your name > Password & Security > Change Password.
3. Follow the onscreen instructions to reset your password.
Update 1 (Jan. 16, 2023)
11:00 am (IST): Some users are again reporting (1, 2, 3, 4) that they are getting a message stating ‘Your Apple ID has been locked out’ along with a link to confirm their ID.
However, we recommend users avoid such messages as they aren’t legit, but a scam. Moreover, Apple is suggesting those affected to reach out to their support page for Apple ID related issues.
Note: We have more such stories in our dedicated Apps section so be sure to follow them as well.
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