The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has warned the public of a recent surge in a creative new robocall scamming scheme that pretends to be Apple and Amazon.
The FTC explains that these increasingly widespread robocalls take advantage of prerecorded messages designed to fool people into providing their iCloud and Amazon account credentials.
The first trick involves a prerecorded message informing an innocent user of alleged suspicious activity in their Amazon account. Another form of that message may attempt to fool the user into believing that Amazon is unable to fulfill their order. A similar message aimed at Apple users claims suspicious activity on their iCloud account.
The message asks the listener to press 1 to reach a human operator or leave a phone number so the operator could return their call later. Of course, no human operator will solve the user’s problem which doesn’t exist in the first place. It’s all a scam made to try to steal people’s personal information, such as account passwords or credit card numbers.
The FTC strongly advises against pressing 1 to speak with supposed customer support. If the scammers give you a phone number to call, do not call that number, the FTC continues. And, of course, do not give out any personal information.
“If you think there may actually be a problem with one of your accounts, contact the company using a phone number or website you know is real,” the FTC writes.
While Apple users can block any number to prevent unwanted calls, as well as install apps that screen incoming calls, robocalls have proved a much tougher nut to crack because they’re using a wide range of different numbers to place these incredibly annoying calls.