Apple Store Gift Card Scam Emails with Malware

Typing on keyboardSecurity researchers from Webroot have revealed a malicious email campaign attempting to trick users of Apple products into thinking they’ve received a $200 Apple Store Gift Card. Emails contain malware that can be used to compromise Windows-based machines. When the user clicks on a hyperlink within the email or opens an attachment, a Java-based exploit installs itself onto the computer, stealing data and opening the user up to the possibility of identity theft and other cyber-crimes. Users can become infected by either executing the attachment or by clicking on the link found in the emails.

Your BBB has the following tips to keep in mind if you receive an email claiming you “won” a prize:

Don’t click on any links inside the email as they could contain malware.  Hover over the hyperlink and look in the bottom left hand side of your screen to see where the hyperlink is actually going.  The link may say one thing but take you somewhere entirely differently. 

Check the e-mail address it was sent from. If you don’t recognize the sender, be careful.

Look at the salutation. Does the email address you by name or does it use generic terms like “Dear Valued Customer” or “Dear Friend”?  The use of generic salutations can be a red flag that the email has been sent to multiple people and may just be phishing for your information.

Beware that some emails containing malicious software may use a recognizable business name as a way of “proving” they are real. Check out the “contest” or “prize” with the business itself to verify that the offer is real.

Don’t send any personal information or transfer money to anyone without knowing who you are dealing with. 

If you do click on anything inside the email, run your security software.  A full scan should remove the malware; however, if the malware is not removed or it disables your ability to run your security software, you may need to take the computer to a professional in order to remove it properly.  You can find a computer professional by visiting evansville.bbb.org.

Visit the Tri-State BBB for Numerous Consumer Tips.

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Michael is our Business Information Specialist and will be writing at least one article per week for the consumer education blog. He works with accredited businesses to ensure we maintain current contact information and licensing. He is usually first to answer the phone; so odds are good you will be speaking with him when calling our office.

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