'Apple support' phishing scams are getting really good

Be warned.

Rochelle Garner Features Editor / News
Rochelle Garner is features editor for CNET News. A native of the mythical land known as Silicon Valley, she has written about the technology industry for more than 20 years. She has worked in an odd mix of publications -- from National Geographic magazine to MacWEEK and Bloomberg News.
Rochelle Garner
2 min read

You know those voice mails you get claiming to be from "Windows support"? It looks like scammers are upping their game with convincing phishing calls claiming to be from Apple, security expert Brian Krebs said in a report Thursday.  

The scam starts an automated call showing Apple's logo, address and legitimate Apple phone number that warns the user to return the call because of a data breach, according to the security website. The message then gives a 1-866 number to call back. That number is "a known phishing source," the security analyst said. 


Screenshot of the spoofed Apple support number. 

screenshot by CNET

"The exploit is unique because it allows callers to masquerade as other callers essentially by polluting search results with junk information that makes one number look like the contact number for a real company," Krebs wrote on his blog. "The number ... to call is a known phishing source. Remember: If anyone calls you claiming that your computer is broken they are most probably lying."

Apple didn't immediately provide a comment on the report. On its website, the company offers advice on how to deal with different scams, including phone calls. "If you get an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from Apple, hang up and contact us directly," the company says.

We'll repeat what we've said before. The IRS will never call you for money. Microsoft and Apple customer support won't call you about a widespread data breach. AT&T and Verizon won't tell you to re-enter your ID and account info to restart your account. If you aren't sure, go to the company's website and call the number listed there -- not the one the voice mail told you to call.

First published Jan. 4, 3:39 p.m. PT.
Update, 4:52 p.m.: Adds info from Apple's website.