3/21/229:00 am Protect Yourself From These 5 Apple-Related Scams Don't fall for these 5 Apple-related scams. Be careful when you get alarming emails, check carefully before buying a used Mac, don't assume everything you see on your screen is offical, and more. Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Let's take a look at some common Apple related scams. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 1000 supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon. There you can read more about the Patreon Campaign. Join us and get exclusive content and course discounts. So the best way to protect yourself from scams is to educate yourself. First let's start off with scams that somehow involve Apple Gift Cards also called iTunes gift cards. These scams really have nothing to do with Apple, with your iPhone, with your Mac or anything like that. But what they have in common is that scammers will ask for payment using Apple gift cards. Now, of course, they also could be asking for payment with other kinds of gift cards. Anytime that anybody asks for payment for something using a gift card it's a scam. No legitimate company or government or anybody is going to ask for payment of a fee or some sort of service using a gift card. So if you're ever asked to go and purchase a gift card and send that to somebody or buy it online and send the code to somebody it's almost certainly a scam. The reason, of course, gift cards, like Apple gift cards, are used in scams like these is they're kind of untraceable and they're irreversible. If you buy a gift card and then send it to somebody or send them the code they've got that and there's nothing you could do to cancel it or get it back. Now most scams that involve Apple are some sort of phishing scams. This is when you get an email, a text message, or a phone call from somebody claiming to be from Apple. From Apple Support or from The Apple Store, or something and asking you to give them information. Most of the time when this happens there's a level of urgency that's attached. Like you'll get an email for an invoice or a receipt for something expensive that you didn't buy. Sometimes they'll say that your account has been locked or your account will soon be locked if you don't take action, if you don't click here or call this number. This is to try and make you panic and try to click on a link in the email or call the phone number to get the problem corrected. But it's just a fake email trying to trick you into giving up your Apple ID password. Keep in mind a few things. First of all Apple will NEVER ask you for your credentials like that. They will never call you unless you call them first asking for support. There's also a lot of bad advice out there about phishing attacks especially emails telling you to look for things like bad grammar or obvious mistakes in the email. That only works to let you quickly dismiss some of these. But that may backfire because you get an email that seems to be legitimate, has no grammatical errors, has no mistakes in any of the links or anything like that and it tricks you into a false sense of security. Or perhaps there is a mistake but this time you miss it and you decide it is real and you click. Don't actually use the links or phone number in them but contact whatever company it is, whether it's Apple or somebody else, directly using the contact method you had before, like the support form at their site, a phone number that you know was legitimate that's not included in the email. Now another time you may see fake messages is when you're actually visiting a website. Remember when you're at a website, whether it's on a computer or on a phone, the website can generate any pixels it wants to be on the screen. So it can fake some sort of login or request for information that looks really legitimate. It could look like it's not even part of the web browser but something that's appearing on top of it. So if you're ever asked for your Apple ID, password, or your passcode, or anything like that make sure that it is actually the system, like iOS on the iPhone or macOS on the Mac by closing out the app that you're using, especially if it's the web browser. See if you get that same message when you're just at the Home screen or in the Finder on the Mac. If something is telling you you need to log into your Apple account again you can always go to Settings and see if it is actually requesting that login there in the Settings app. If it's not then it's likely that website is trying to trick you into giving up your password. Here's the type of scam that isn't technically illegal. It's just basically overcharging you for something. You can get an App in the App Store that's completely legitimate, that doesn't have any kind of malware on it or anything at all but then it wants to charge you for a subscription service and they greatly overprice that service. It could be something offered for free in other apps or something you just don't need at all. Maybe it's just something you can already get as part of your iPhone's default functionality but the app maybe gives you a free trial or teases you with functionality it can offer and then gives you a subscription box. Then you subscribe without paying close enough attention to see that the pricing is way off. It's something like $10 per week or something like that. It gets into the App Store because It's not technically violating any kind of policy. They're just relying on the fact that well maybe 99% of people see it as a ripoff but 1% may go for it and that may be all they need to make a good amount of money before bad reviews bury the app in The App Store. So the last scam involves buying Apple products. The Apple products, of course, tend to be pretty expensive. People are always looking for discounts or special sales and offers or used products. When you look for used Macs you may find that there aren't too many bargains to be found for Macs that are a year or two old. Instead of buying a $1200 MacBook Air you may find $900 older MacBook Airs. These probably aren't worth it as just a year or two of use especially with the battery probably isn't worth the discount. But the real problem is when you get much older. When you get to Macs that can't even run the current operating system. Macs that are say ten years old can sometimes be found at these sites for pretty large prices. Like $400 or $500 when they are not worth anywhere near that. However, what they are relying on is people looking at thousand dollar prices for MacBooks and suddenly find one for $500 and thinking well this is much more in my price range. I'll buy it. Without realizing that a Mac that is ten years old is just not worth that much. For one thing if it's a MacBook with a battery in it the battery is probably ready for replacement, especially if it's being priced pretty low. So you might be looking at having to spend $200 right away to get a new battery installed and that can negate any kind of bargain you thought you got. Of course another problem is people selling Macs that just won't work. A lot of times big organizations, companies, and schools will resell their old Macs and they won't unlock them so you can't wipe them. There's certain things you can't do with them and somebody will buy them for almost nothing at a fire sale and try to sell them online being truthful about the specifications but hiding the fact that the Mac's can't fully be unlocked anymore. So be very wary when buying a used Mac. If possible find a local retailer that sells used computers and that way you could go in, test out the Mac yourself, and if there is a problem there's a place that you can return it to. So I hope you found this useful. Thanks for watching. Related Subjects: Security (126 videos) Related Video Tutorials: Apple ID Account Recovery Methods Comments: 4 Responses to “Protect Yourself From These 5 Apple-Related Scams” Don R. 2 years ago There is one legitimate place to buy used Apple products- at Apple’s clearance and reconditioned web site at the bottom of their main web site. I’ve bought a Mac Air and an Apple 4K TV from that site with no problems. They are reconditioned products thoroughly check out and any defective parts replaced. Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago Don: In general, yes. But there are a lot of local independent brick & mortar shops with long histories of being good businesses too. Gene 1 year ago Good video Gary. I have also heard/read that one should NOT call the phone numbers in the scam emails. What are the specific risks of doing that? Gary Rosenzweig 1 year ago Gene: First, WHY would you call it? The risks are that the person you talk to scams you out of money or worse. Never assume that you are smarter than a scammer. They know what to say. They have done this before. Trying to scam a scammer is a recipe for disaster. Comments Closed.