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Security & privacy

Scam alert! Here’s why you just got a receipt for a $1K iPhone

Scammers have all sorts of strange ways to lure you into clicking their links. Now, scammers are trying to draw you into a fake iPhone scam by sending a $1,000 receipt.

Open the unexpected email and you’ll see a message saying you bought a new iPhone, and that it will charge this amount to your bank account, credit card or Amazon account. They want you to panic — and there’s a nasty psychological reason behind this trickery.

Scammers know that the more stressed out you are the less likely you are to notice red flags. Tap or click for a few ways to spot these phishing scams. Here are a few signs you should look for when you get an email like this.

The schemers behind this fake iPhone scam ask you to correct the error

Few people pick up the phone anymore, especially from numbers they don’t recognize. The overwhelming avalanche of robocalls jaded us all, and that’s why scammers are switching tactics.

Now, scammers want you to call them. They do this by manufacturing an issue, making you nervous about it and encouraging you to reach out to them for a solution. Tap or click here for the scoop on a nasty email campaign that cons you into calling scammers.

When you get this email, your first instinct is to correct the misunderstanding. That’s why the email will say something like, “If you feel there was an error, contact us at this number.” Don’t do it, though.

Once you call them, a person pretending to be a customer service representative will promise to fix the problem. They will then ask you to download an app to get you a refund. Refuse and they’ll hang up on you.

One dead giveaway of a scam is the sense of urgency

Scammers want to rile you up and force to you take action. They don’t want you to have any time to sit back and think about what’s going on. If they allowed you to ruminate, you’d start noticing the issues. Time pressure and illusions of scarcity are some of the biggest ways they get you, Stylist reports.

In this scam, they’ll tell you to cancel the iPhone purchase right away because the $1,000 charge won’t show up for 24 hours. There are also a few variants of this scheme. Scammers might say your accounts have been hacked.

In that case, you’d call the contact number on the email and get a pushy scammer on the other end of the line. The person posing as a customer service representative will demand your credit card or banking information. “We need this to cancel the sale now,” they might say.

It’s all smoke and mirrors, though. Don’t fall for scare tactics. Follow these steps instead.

First, don’t click any suspicious links

You should always hover over any hyperlinks in your emails. You might find a bizarre site name with numbers in it, which lets you know it’s illegitimate. Unsolicited emails often hide malware.

Click the links and you might download a Trojan onto your device. You could lose control of your gadget. Identity theft is also a big risk to watch out for.

Speaking of which, check the email address. Scammers are pretty good at mimicking logos and formats of official emails. However, the one thing they can’t disguise is their email address.

Lastly, don’t take their word for it. Before taking any action, check your bank account or credit card account. Don’t see the charge? Congratulations: You just avoided this fake iPhone scam.

This fake iPhone scam is just one of many cons lurking in your inbox

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