Locked Apple ID Phishing Scam

Locked Apple ID Phishing Scam

An email claiming you have a locked Apple ID is the latest phishing scam attempt to be caught by MailShark spam filters. The email is branded and claims to be from Apple, a popular multinational technology company most popular for the iPhone and Mac computers. We suggest taking extreme caution with this dangerous scam attempt – you should delete it from your inbox straight away to avoid confusion in the future.

Figure A is a screenshot of the locked Apple ID phishing scam email we have identified. It is well branded to suit the minimalistic Apple theme and is overall a convincing attempt. The subject line reads “Your Apple ID has been locked”, which intrigues and scares the receiver. The sender is shown as “Apple”, but when looking closer at the email address used it is in no way associated with the official Apple website and is clearly spam.

There are several tactics used within the email to encourage you to click through to the malicious phishing website:

  • The first tactic is the overall design and nature of the email which is to inform you that your Apple ID is locked for security reasons – this scares the reader into thinking they need to take action.
  • The second tactic is a fake threat from a specific location – “we noticed an attempt to sign in to your account from an unrecognised device in Italy”.
  • The third tactic is the use of a simple hyperlink as a call-to-action (shown in blue) which reads “Unlock your Apple ID”.
  • The fourth tactic is a final warning stating if you do not unlock your account it can lead to permanent suspension.
  • The fifth tactic is fake links to “All Rights Reserved”, “Privacy Policy” and “My Apple ID” which are all commonly seen in legitimate emails – please note that clicking any of these links will still lead you to a malicious phishing website.
MailShark Locked Apple ID Phishing Scam
Figure A – Click to Enlarge

Figure B is a safely captured screenshot of the malicious phishing website in question. As you can see it is again, a very convincing attempt to look authentic. The page is asking you to log in with your Apple ID and password to manage your account and apparently unlock it due to suspicious activity. This is a scam, the website is completely fake and can be identified by the URL and overall design – which as convincing as it is, is not Apple’s website.

MailShark Your Apple ID has been locked Visit Website
Figure B – Click to Enlarge

If you find yourself questioning this email, MailShark encourages you to visit Apple’s official website through a legitimate link (not through the email sent you) to log into your account and check if the claim is real. You can also talk to an Apple representative regarding the matter. We encourage you to stay safe online and delete this email from your inbox, and definitely do not click any of the links found inside.

Steph Kent
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