How to protect yourself against calls from fake Apple support

in General Discussion edited April 24
Calls from bogus Apple support representatives are on the rise. Scam-artists are using Apple's name, and spoofing phone numbers, in order to phish for personal details from customers. There are occasions when Apple will phone you, but it won't be about your iCloud account.

Spammers may not always be quite so up front.
Spammers may not always be quite so up front.

First of all, we'll say this up front. You can't stop fake calls. You can only protect yourself from them, with some knowledge about when you will get a call from Apple, and when you won't.

It is possible that someone genuinely from Apple will phone you, but you should always know in advance that it's going to happen or is likely. If you instead get a completely unexpected call purporting to be from them, it is a fake and you should hang up -- but more on that in a bit.

There is one time that you will definitely get a real call from Apple, and one situation where it's likely. That one time is when you've requested it via Apple's online support.

In the case of a call from Apple support, you will have given them your number and at least some details of whatever problem you're having, and the initial call will be made very soon, sometimes instantly.

As the support person works through your problem, it may be that they need to call you back again at a later time, but the initial call will always have been requested by you.

The only other situation where it's likely you'll get a call, but not definite, is when you have placed a substantial order for Apple devices online. This call will be from Apple Sales or from some other Apple representative, but it will specifically be about that order and confirming that it is really you who placed it.

There are no other circumstances in which Apple will call any regular individual or business customer asking for information. And, there are no circumstances at all in which anyone from Apple will phone about any kind of iCloud "account corruption" such as AppleInsider staff has been told lately.

Apple's complete list of all its real phone numbers
Apple's complete list of all its real phone numbers

If you get a call from Apple and you are in any doubt about its authenticity, hang up. It's possible now that spammers will also spoof the phone number they're dialling from. So even if, for instance, you happen to know that 1-800-275-2273 is Apple's main US number and that's what you see on your iPhone screen, don't believe that the call is real.

Instead, when you've hung up, manually dial that number or whichever is the correct one for your country and region. Apple maintains a complete list of all its phone numbers online. That way you know you'll get Apple, instead of somebody in a dank call center trying to steal your information.


  • Reply 1 of 9
    If ypu still give personal data on phone to someone who calls you then you must be naive. Request e-mail, mail or phone number to call back. Verify who it is. Only then give any detail and no all details on the same channel. I have found even better method : I switched to Android ;)
  • Reply 2 of 9
    franimalfranimal Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    If you still give personal data on phone to someone who calls you then you must be naive. Request e-mail, mail or phone number to call back. Verify who it is. Only then give any detail and no all details on the same channel. And if you are on an Android phone, don't worry, they probably won't call you because they already have your personal info ;)
  • Reply 3 of 9
    Or do what I did. I got a bogus call from "Apple Security" stating I had several unusual attempts to log into my iCloud account from Europe. I asked "Which account? I have several."

    Dial tone.....
  • Reply 4 of 9
    davidwdavidw Posts: 977member
    One thing to remember is that, whether its a phone call or email, Apple knows your name and will always address you by your name. Not Dear "Apple customer" or "iCloud account holder" or your email address or "iTunes account holder". Every time Apple have gotten a hold of me by eMail, they address me by my first name and most of the time, my last name is also mentioned.

    I've been getting a lot of scam email lately wanting to confirm an App Store purchase and if it's incorrect, to click on a link to "Apple Customer Support" or that my iTunes account have been blocked due to strange activity and to click on the link to re-activate. And no where in the email is my name or real account number, only "Dear, Apple App Store customer" and "concerning your iTunes account". I alway forward these to Apple Scam before deleting. This way Apple has a chance of tracking down the web domain that the link is attached to and have it shut down.

     I've never been contacted by Apple by phone, but I always assume they will know my name and if I were to ask who they want to speak to, they would know my name.

    I mostly get scam calls from "Microsoft" saying they detected unusual activity on my Windows computer. Only I don't have any computers with Windows. At least not one that I use regularly. I do have an old HP and Dell laptop with Windows 7 on them, that I only keep for very rare occasions when I need to download a firmware patch for a device and it requires Windows. Other than that, I know any call stating they from Microsoft support concerning Windows, is a scam.
    edited April 24
  • Reply 5 of 9
    horvatichorvatic Posts: 132member
    AppleCare will never call you out of the blue period. Not for anything. That includes anything to do with viruses or Malware which you see popup on websites with these 800 numbers that tell you to call immediately. It's fake, fraudulent people that will say they are Apple support with Indian accents and his name is Fred. Don't believe it, hang up! Emails are also common. I've gotten fake emails saying there from iTunes Store that my account has been compromised or that something I purchased had an issue. Look at the senders email address even though it says iTunes Store it's not. Lots of times you will get iTunes followed by a bunch of misc. characters That's FAKE!
  • Reply 6 of 9
    Phobos7Phobos7 Posts: 21member
    What about fake email?
  • Reply 7 of 9
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,460member
    Just insist they put you through to Putin.
  • Reply 8 of 9
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 481member
    There is SW that marks suspect calls and outrights blocks a lot of it.

    I have always been very protective of my cell phone number and do not respond to calls from numbers I do not know. When I started to see some robo/spam calls, I installed some SW from AT&T (included in my plan) that filters what gets through and marks suspect stuff not proven to be harmful. Since that time I have not had one- a rare ring marked as probable marketing (spam) and I just tap decline on my watch.

    The other thing you can do is to create a "burner" number softphone that you use for websites that demand a phone number - like real estate and car dealer websites. If you check the box to email first, they still call you as if you never expressed a preference. I have a Skype number that I use for that purpose- it is a legit dial in number, but does not ring my cell phone.
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