Iforgot.apple.com Email Scam

Also Known As: Disabled Apple ID scam
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is "iforgot.apple.com"?

The "Iforgot.apple.com" scam is used by cyber criminals to steal logins and passwords (AppleID accounts). They send this email to many people hoping that at least some will click the link and provide the requested details. We strongly recommend that you ignore this email, since it has nothing to do with the Apple company.

iforgot.apple.com email used for stealing passwords

The message informs recipients that their Apple ID was used to sign in on a new browser - potentially implying that another device was used to sign in with the ID. In any case, the scam states that the user's Apple ID has been temporarily disabled for security reasons.

To re-enable it, people are encouraged to sign in to their Apple accounts using their Apple IDs and passwords via a deceptive website. Note that the email contains the iforgot.apple.com URL, which is a legitimate Apple website, however, this actually a hyperlink.

Thus, "iforgot.apple.com" is simply text pointing to a URL of a fake Apple ID management website used to steal account credentials. People are urged to sign in within 24 hours, otherwise their accounts will be disabled permanently. These scammers pose as Apple Support team members.

We strongly advise that you do not sign in through the presented website, since this is used to steal Apple ID accounts (and credentials).

If they succeed, cyber criminals can use these accounts to access App Store (make purchases), iMessage (manage messages), iCloud (gain access to files stored on it), and so on. In summary, using this deceptive website to sign into Apple ID can result in privacy issues or even financial loss. This scam should not be trusted. We recommend that you delete this email and never trust any similar emails in future.

Threat Summary:
Name Disabled Apple ID scam
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus
Symptoms Your Mac became slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you get redirected to shady websites.
Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers, torrent file downloads.
Damage Internet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites, loss of private information.
Malware Removal (Mac)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your Mac with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner for Mac
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Typically, scammers use similar spam campaigns to extort money from people. Trusting these emails often leads to financial loss. Some examples of other similar rogue emails are "You Certainly Do Not Know Me", "Hey. It's me! Your Future Friend Or Enemy", and "I Have A Forum In The Darkweb".

Nevertheless, some spam campaigns are used to cause computer infections. Cyber criminals send emails that contain malicious attachments (or web links that lead to them) and, if opened, they cause installation of high-risk viruses such as LokiBot, TrickBot, Emotet, AZORult, Adwind, and so on.

These emails usually contain Microsoft Office documents (Word, Excel and others), JavaScript files, PDF documents, archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables and other files.

If opened, they download and install malicious programs that proliferate other infections, steal personal details (passwords, logins), etc. These programs usually cause problems relating to privacy, browsing safety, financial loss, and various other serious issues.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam campaigns that cause computer infections can do so only if the attachments and links that lead to them are opened. For example, if an attached file is an MS Office document, once opened, it will demand permission to enable macros commands.

In effect, this is to disable "Protected View" mode, which protects users from installation of malware caused by malicious/infected documents. The same applies to other files. Whatever the file type, it must first be opened. The best way to avoid computer infections is to leave these files unopened.

How to avoid installation of malware?

To avoid computer infections and damage that can be done by them, handle emails that are received from unknown or suspicious addresses with care. Especially if these emails contain links or attachments. Most are presented as official and legitimate, however, they usually have no relevance to the recipients at all.

Therefore, download software from official websites and using direct links. Do not use dubious software download channels such as Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule etc.), unofficial/dubious websites, third party downloaders, etc. to download software.

Software should be updated using tools provided by official software developers only and not third party tools. Do not use software "cracking" tools to avoid paying for official software. Cracking tools are often used by cyber criminals to proliferate malware.

Besides, it is illegal to use these tools. Additionally, have reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware software installed and keep it enabled at all times. If you have already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "iforgot.apple.com" email message:

Dear Customer,
Your Apple ID was used to sign in to a new web browser.
Date and Time:
IP Address:
Your Apple ID has been temporarily disabled for security reason. When you see this alerts, you can go to iforgot.apple.com to unlock your account with your existing password. Your account will permanently disabled if you not verify your account under 24 hours.
Apple Support

Screenshot of a fake Apple ID management website:

fake website asking to enter apple id credentials and used to steal them

Another variant of iforgot.apple.com email scam:

iforgot.apple.com email scam variant 2

Text presented within this email:

Subject: Apple Support

Apple ID Locked

Dear Customer

Your Apple ID has been locked for security reasons. To unlock it, you must verify your identity.

Unlock Account >

If you don't unlock your account before 24 hours, your account password will change automatically. You can reset your password at iforgot.apple.com.


Apple Support

Instant automatic Mac malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Mac malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner for Mac By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

How to remove malware manually?

Manual malware removal is a complicated task - usually it is best to allow antivirus or anti-malware programs to do this automatically.

To remove this malware we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS. If you wish to remove malware manually, the first step is to identify the name of the malware that you are trying to remove. Here is an example of a suspicious program running on a user's computer:

malicious process running on user's computer sample

If you checked the list of programs running on your computer, for example, using task manager, and identified a program that looks suspicious, you should continue with these steps:

manual malware removal step 1 Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry, and file system locations:

screenshot of autoruns application

manual malware removal step 2Restart your computer into Safe Mode:

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button.

Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button.

In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":


manual malware removal step 3Extract the downloaded archive and run the Autoruns.exe file.

extract autoruns.zip and run autoruns.exe

manual malware removal step 4In the Autoruns application, click "Options" at the top and uncheck the "Hide Empty Locations" and "Hide Windows Entries" options. After this procedure, click the "Refresh" icon.

Click 'Options' at the top and uncheck 'Hide Empty Locations' and 'Hide Windows Entries' options

manual malware removal step 5Check the list provided by the Autoruns application and locate the malware file that you want to eliminate.

You should write down its full path and name. Note that some malware hides process names under legitimate Windows process names. At this stage, it is very important to avoid removing system files. After you locate the suspicious program you wish to remove, right click your mouse over its name and choose "Delete".

locate the malware file you want to remove

After removing the malware through the Autoruns application (this ensures that the malware will not run automatically on the next system startup), you should search for the malware name on your computer. Be sure to enable hidden files and folders before proceeding. If you find the filename of the malware, be sure to remove it.

searching for malware file on your computer

Reboot your computer in normal mode. Following these steps should remove any malware from your computer. Note that manual threat removal requires advanced computer skills. If you do not have these skills, leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware programs.

These steps might not work with advanced malware infections. As always it is best to prevent infection than try to remove malware later. To keep your computer safe, install the latest operating system updates and use antivirus software.

To be sure your computer is free of malware infections, we recommend scanning it with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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