Unwanted texts can be annoying, but ones that try to steal your personal information or bank details by pretending to be from a familiar source, such as the latest ‘Apple’ scam text, are downright frightening.
Over the past few months I’ve received some intriguingly familiar texts from unknown numbers.
The latest message came on Boxing Day from a number purporting to be Apple.
It read: ‘Your Apple account for (my number here) is now locked. Complete the form below to restore access.’ It was accompanied by a bit.ly link.
Fortunately, I am aware that Apple would never contact me this way and identifying the text message as suspicious, I didn’t click on the link.
But it’s likely that other recipients have – or have done with previous messages from ‘Apple’, such as the one last May informing users that their Apple ID was about to expire.
Other scam texts
But the message from ‘Apple’ wasn’t the only scam text I’ve received of late.
I received duplicate texts on 29 November and 16 December telling me that I might quality for Government Debt Help. Apparently, I could have 85% of my debt written off, and all charges and fees frozen. Excellent, no more student loan repayments!
And on 13 October, I got one saying I could be owed £510 for a delayed or cancelled flight. My flight in September was only delayed by 10 minutes, so that would be a very generous compensation payment!
Spotting a fake
All sound too good to be true? That’s because they are.
Today, we’re increasingly contacted via text from unknown numbers for routine appointment reminders, including the dentist, the hairdresser’s and the doctor.
As a result, sometimes we no longer question the authenticity of what we receive or find it more difficult to discern the genuine messages from the fake.
But there are still a few questions you should ask yourself when you receive a text from an unknown number to help separate the scammers from the secretaries:
1. Have you been contacted out of the blue?
2. Is the deal too good to be true?
3. Have you been asked to share personal details?
4. Have you been pressured to respond quickly?
5. Are the contact details vague?
6. Are there any grammatical or spelling mistakes?
7. Are you asked to keep it quiet?
It’s also worth asking yourself whether the link itself or the URL of the landing page you’re taken to when you click the link looks suspicious.
Sometimes it can be difficult to see the URL properly on your phone, so make sure you examine it properly if you clicked on this.
If you think you may have received a scam message from a brand you are familiar with, it’s worth checking their homepage to see if the domain name of the landing page matches that of the official site.
Have you received this latest scam text pretending to be from Apple? What did you do about it? Or have you received a familiar scam text message from an unfamiliar number? If so, who did it appear to be from?