Scammers have seemingly devised a new, convincing technique that targets people with fake calls pretending to be from the customer care department of Amazon and Apple. These calls look to convince people that their accounts have either been breached, or have seen some recent suspicious activity. Rather convincingly, the automated scam call states that if you wish to restore your account, or confirm the activity to ensure it isn’t suspicious, users can simply dial ‘1’ in response to the call, or call back on a designated number. This call back directs them to the scammers, who are then attempting to scrap information such as passwords, personal details, credit card information or any other related sensitive information.
The automated call pretending to be on behalf of Amazon states the call is on behalf of the company and is being made in respect of a “suspicious” purchase, a package that was lost during delivery, or a placed order that Amazon cannot fulfil. The attempt chances upon the fact that Amazon deliveries are quite frequent among an increasing percentage of people. The Apple scam call, meanwhile, tells its targets that there have been “suspicious” activities in their iCloud IDs, or that their accounts may have been breached and immediate action is requested.
While all of this sounds rather convincing, especially given the automated call touch that many companies may employ as a way to reach out to users en masse, the biggest giveaway is the attempt made by scammers to have users connect with them. Typically, an official call from a company would involve asking users to reach out to the company via official links, walk in to a service centre, or call on official customer care belonging to the company.
On this note, the United States’ Federal Trade Commission’s consumer information portal has warned users to not call these numbers back under any circumstances, and only trust the official customer care numbers listed for any company (in this case Amazon and Apple) on their official websites. It further urges that no company ever reaches out for consumer grievance redressal by asking users to call back on a random number, and asks users to apply their own discretion when facing such calls.
While this does not directly apply to India, such scams are often rolled over by phishing attackers and scammers to other markets once they are invalidated in one. Given the extent of scam and phishing calls already occurring in India, users are still urged to exercise caution, and not fall for any such fraudulent calls coming their way.