Don't fall for fake iPhone giveaways or you might end up a victim of identity theft

It is tempting. You're checking out your favorite social media site and you see a contest giving away a number of free Apple iPhone X models. All you need to do to enter is fill in the blanks to type in your name, email address, street address and the city where you live. And even though every fiber of common sense in your body is telling you that this so-called contest must be a scam, well, it is an iPhone X after all. So you enter the contest and hope that you will win.

The problem is that the information you provided can be used to open fraudulent accounts in your name. And by the way, don't wait by the front door expecting to win the non-existent prize. These type of posts make up more than half of the spam seen on social media according to Phil Tully. The latter is the principal data scientist at social media security firm ZeroFOX. Tully and his team found 282 such contests posted on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. Overall, ZeroFOX's Platform discovered 532 fake iPhone social media accounts. A couple of fake sites, since removed, include "iPhone8 Official" on Facebook, and @official.iphone8.giveaway on Instagram.

Other methods used by scammers include fame-farming. This trick uses a social media page built by the scammers that attracts followers who become part of a list of targets. The list is then sold to advertisers by criminals. Phishing links send those hopeful of winning an iPhone X to a social media site that looks real, but isn't. By asking users to log-in, passwords are stolen. And these sites trick some into believing that they need to update their operating system, allowing malware to be installed.

While fake contests are also seen for the Apple iPhone 8 and Apple iPhone 8 Plus, the price of the iPhone X, and the possibility that it will be nearly impossible to find for months, lead people to shrug off the risks and enter the phony contests because it might be the only way they can get one.

ZeroFOX has a few recommendations. Check out URLs to make sure that they are not imposter addresses with a lookalike character inserted in an attempt to trick you. Avoid manufacturers' social media sites that aren't verified and don't visit web sites without SSL or TLS certification. Some browsers use a green color near the "https" designation to denote that a site has the proper certification.


And if something looks suspicious, assume that it is a scam. Yes, a free iPhone X or iPhone 8 might be hard to resist, but unless you are 100% sure that a giveaway is legit, you risk having your bank account drained by someone who now claims to be you.

source: ZeroFOX via CNET

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13 Comments

1. darkkjedii

Posts: 31102; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

That red mock up looks nice, just make the camera horizontal.

2. redmd

Posts: 1939; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

That mock up looks better though, no notch

3. KFear

Posts: 170; Member since: Feb 06, 2012

I work for a bank and we get a steady stream of older generations coming in and constantly fall for these types of scams. It will get worse, and soon criminals will be able to obtain your info in the easiest methods imaginable.

8. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

What? Sure old people would fall for it, but any age group will because fans arwnt as smart as they think they are. Scams are easy done All for with to good to be true deals. But rich people who have plenty money, but who are cheap, fall for such all the time.

13. KFear

Posts: 170; Member since: Feb 06, 2012

My comment was just a generalization and not so much a response to the article. I know many people fall for these.

4. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

And there is a bunch of such giveaways on Facebook all the time... ain't worth s**t.

5. aegislash

Posts: 1499; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Funny, because when I didn't have Adblock, PhoneArena was one of the repeat offenders itself of constantly showing fake iPhone giveaway ads

6. PhoneInQuestion

Posts: 496; Member since: Aug 20, 2017

What post #5 said, you guys need to clean up your ads before calling out the various scam operations exposed on a day to day basis.

7. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

Only people who but iPhone's would fall for such a scam. Because pretty much no one who buys them could tell take ones vs the real thing. Especially since several manufacturers who Apple has never sued, have phones that are 100% identical even down to the OS skin.

11. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

"Only people who but iPhone's would fall for such a scam." Way to generalize s**tstain.

9. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Type AMEN to have an iPhone8.

10. chocowii

Posts: 478; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

Amen :-D

12. sunnyfpy

Posts: 284; Member since: May 12, 2013

FB advertisement full of scammers,,,beware!

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