FTC warns cellphone users about scam calls that seek to steal your personal information
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a blog on Thursday that discussed how spammers are trying to obtain personal information from consumers by pretending to work for Apple or Amazon customer service. The FTC, in warning consumers about this plan to separate them from their money, said that there are two versions of the scheme. In one, when you pick up the phone, you get a recorded message that says that Amazon is on the line and that there is a problem with your account. Various explanations are given to explain why you received the call ranging from a lost package to a suspicious order to the inability of Amazon to fulfill the order.
In the second variation of this spam, you receive a call claiming that suspicious activity has been discovered on your Apple iCloud account and that your iCloud account has been breached. In both variations of the scam, you are told that by pressing on the number one. you will be connected to someone who will help you. As the FTC says, do NOT press any number. And if they give you a phone number to call, don't dial it! Remember, the scammers' agenda is to separate you from your hard earned money. So if you do connect to someone claiming to be an Apple or Amazon rep and they ask for a credit card or social security number, do not give out this information to them. Remember one thing if you receive such a call: do not give away any personal information to anyone.
In fact, the FTC clearly states what you should do if you get an "unexpected" call or message about a problem with one of your Apple or Amazon accounts. In this scenario, the government agency says:
- Do not speak with customer support.
- Do not call any phone number they give you .
- Do not give out your personal information.
Instead, simply hang up on the call! If you are worried about a problem with an account you do have, you can call Apple or Amazon (or any other company used by the spammers) using a phone number that you know to be legitimate. The FTC recommends that mobile phone users also install a call blocking app that uses data and algorithms to predict which incoming calls are spam (these get blocked) and which are legit.