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Detect and avoid phishing messages, false support calls and other attempts at fraud

You can use these tips to protect yourself against fraud and what to do if you think your Apple ID has been compromised.

Phishing refers to fraudulent attempts to obtain personal information from you. Scammers will use all available means to trick you into giving out information like your Apple ID password or credit card numbers: fake emails and texts, misleading pop-up ads, fake downloads, calendar spam to spam phone calls.

If you receive a suspicious email that appears to be from Apple, please forward it to [email protected]

On your Mac, add more details by selecting the email and choosing "Forward as Attachment" from the "Message" menu.

This is how you avoid phishing and other attempts at fraud

If you see a message while surfing the Internet that your iPhone, Mac or other Apple device has been infected by a virus, or if a caller pretends to be an Apple employee and asks you for your account name and password, it is likely an attempted fraud. Here are a few things you can do to avoid this.

  • Protect your Apple ID: Use two-factor authentication. Keep your contact information safe and up-to-date. Never give your Apple ID password or verification code to anyone. Apple never asks for this information for support.
  • Learn how to identify legitimate email from Apple about your App Store or iTunes Store purchases.
  • Never use App Store, iTunes, or Apple Store Gift Cards to make other types of payments.
  • When you send or receive money with Apple Pay (US only), treat it like any other private transaction.
  • Find out how to protect your Apple devices and data.
  • In general, never give out personal information like credit card numbers unless you can verify that the recipient is who they say they are.
  • Never click on links in suspicious or unsolicited messages, and never open or download attachments to such messages.
  • If you have any doubts about a request or communication, or if you only need to update your data with one company, contact the company directly.

If you think your Apple ID has been compromised, or if you've entered your password or other personal information on a scam website, change your Apple ID password immediately.

You received a suspicious email or message

Scammers try to copy real companies' email and text messages to trick you into giving out personal information and passwords. The following signs can help identify fraudulent activities:

  • The email address or phone number of the sender does not match the company they claim to belong to.
  • The email address or telephone number used to contact you differs from the email address or telephone number that you have stored with the relevant company.
  • A link in a message looks trustworthy, but the URL does not match the company's website. *
  • The message looks very different from other messages you've received from the company.
  • In the message you will be asked for personal information such as the credit card number or the password for an account.
  • The message arrives unsolicited and contains an attachment.

Please report suspicious emails and messages:

  • If you receive a phishing email that appears to be a real email from Apple, you can send it to [email protected] When forwarding a message through Mail on your Mac, include the header information. To do this, select the message and choose "Forward as Attachment" from the "Message" menu.
  • To report spam or other suspicious emails received in your inbox from iCloud.com, me.com, or mac.com, send them to [email protected]
  • To report spam or other suspicious messages you receive through iMessage, tap "Report Advertisement" below the message. You can also block unwanted messages and calls.

Your web browser shows annoying popups

If you see a popup or message about a free win or a problem with your browser while browsing the internet, don't believe it. These types of popups are usually fraudulent advertisements designed to trick you into giving the scammer personal information or money.

Don't call the number or follow the links to claim the prize or fix the problem. Ignore the message and simply navigate away from the page or close the entire window or tab.

You will be prompted to download software

Be extremely careful when downloading content from the Internet. Some downloads found on the internet may not contain the claimed software or contain software you did not expect or want. This includes apps that ask for configuration profiles which can then control your device. Once installed, such unknown or unwanted software can become intrusive and annoying, and even damage your Mac and steal your data.

To avoid unwanted, fake, or harmful software, install software from the App Store or get it directly from the developer website. Here you can find out how to securely open software on your Mac or remove unwanted configuration profiles from your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

You receive suspicious phone calls or voicemails

Scammers may pretend to be calling from a phone number other than their real phone number and try to trick you by offering compliments or threats to divulge information, money, or even iTunes gift cards. If you receive an unwanted or suspicious call from someone claiming to be Apple, just hang up.

You can report fraudulent technical support calls to the Federal Trade Commission (US only) at reportfraud.ftc.gov or contact your local law enforcement agency.

You accepted a suspicious calendar invitation

If you receive an unwanted or suspicious calendar invitation in Mail or Calendar, you can report it as junk in iCloud.

To delete an invitation you've already accepted, tap the event, then tap Decline or Delete Event. If you've accidentally subscribed to a calendar that you don't want, open the Calendar app, tap Calendar, and look for an unknown or suspicious calendar. Tap the calendar, scroll down, and tap Delete Calendar.

* To check the destination of a link on your Mac, hover your mouse over the link to see the URL. If you can't see the URL in the Safari status bar, choose View> Show Status Bar. Hold the link selected on your iOS device with your finger.

Information relating to non-Apple products or independent websites that are not controlled or audited by Apple is not intended as a recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility for the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites and products. Apple makes no representations about the accuracy or reliability of any third party websites. Contact the provider for additional information.

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