Do not call the number in the Apple cloud Subscription email scam

Also Known As: Apple cloud Subscription spam
Damage level: Medium

What is Apple cloud Subscription email scam?

Typically, scammers behind phishing emails pretend to be legitimate companies, organizations to trick recipients into providing personal information (for example, login credentials, credit card details, social security numbers). This phishing email is disguised as a letter from Apple (App Store team) regarding iCloud subscription.

Apple cloud Subscription email scam email spam campaign

Apple cloud Subscription scam in detail

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, cybercriminals use phishing emails to trick recipients into opening a deceptive website and providing usernames, passwords (or other login credentials), cardholder name, expiry date, CVV code (and other credit card details), social security numbers, or other sensitive information.

Typically, they try to trick recipients into providing information that could be used to steal social media, email, and other accounts, commit identity fraud, make unauthorized purchases, transactions, send spam, malspam (malicious emails), or for other purposes. This particular email is used to extract trick users into calling the 1-(808)-444-5113 number and providing personal information via telephone.

To trick recipients into calling the provided number, scammers claim that they have subscribed for Apple services worth $399.99, and to cancel that subscription before it gets renewed after three months, they need to contact "customer support". It is important to mention that scammers behind this phishing email may try to get remote access to a computer, install malware on it, steal sensitive information, etc.

It is likely that this email is used to trick recipients into telling scammers their credit card details or paying money for some unnecessary services (e.g., cancellation fee). It is worth mentioning that information provided to scammers may be sold to third parties (other cybercriminals) or published on the dark web.

Threat Summary:
Name Apple cloud Subscription Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipients have subscribed for Apple services worth $399.99
Scammer Number 1-(808)-444-5113
Disguise Letter from Apple company
Symptoms Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of the computer.
Distribution methods Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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More examples of phishing emails

More examples of phishing emails used to trick recipients into providing sensitive information are "Verify Microsoft Account Email Scam", "FIRST INTERNATIONAL BANK OF ISRAEL Email Scam", and "Bonifico Effettuato Email Scam". As mentioned in the introduction, most emails of this type look like they are sent from some financial institution like a bank, software company, or organization.

It is important to mention that scammers targeting login credentials may use obtained information to steal multiple accounts from users who use the same login credentials for those accounts. Another important detail is that cybercriminals can use email to deliver malware.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Typically, emails that cybercriminals use to distribute malicious software contain some attachment or a website link. Their main goal is to trick recipients into downloading and opening a malicious file.

Malicious emails can contain Microsoft Office documents, PDF documents, JavaScript files, executable files (like EXE), archive files (e.g., ZIP, RAR), or other files designed to install malware. Typically, those files are presented as important, urgent documents.

It is noteworthy that malicious documents opened with Microsoft Office 2010 and newer versions do not install malware unless users enable editing/content (macros commands). However, older MS Office versions infect computers once they are opened because they do not have the "Protected View".

How to avoid installation of malware?

Files and programs should be downloaded from legitimate, official pages and via direct links. It is strongly advisable not to use other sources (e.g., Peer-to-Peer networks, third-party downloaders, unofficial pages) to download programs - they can be bundled with malware.

Installed programs have to be updated or activated with tools, functions that their official developers provide. Quite often, various third-party, unofficial tools are used to distribute malware. Moreover, it is not legal to activate licensed programs with cracking tools or use cracked programs.

Received emails that are not relevant and have files attached to them or contain website links are likely to be used to deliver malware. Therefore, emails of this type should be examined before opening files or links in them.

Additionally, the operating system should have a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware suite installed on it and scanned for threats on a regular basis. If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the Apple cloud Subscription email scam:

Subject: Confirm details for the Apps purchased for registered cloud account ********.

Apple cloud Subscription activated for ********. Enjoy Premium Services.

Auto-App Order Placed

Purchase value: $399.99

Premium Subscription Package

Thank you for the Order. Your subscription will get auto-renewed every 3 months by $399.99 USD, unless you cancel by June 25, 2021.

It is an App-only order, for any Queries,or Customer Support or to Cancel Subscription call our Customer Care 1-(808)-444-5113 (Toll Free) between 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM CST.

The App Store Team

Copyright © 2021 Apple Inc. All rights reserved.

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Quick menu:

Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing Emails

Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.

Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.

After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.

Email-virus icon Emails with Malicious Attachments

Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.

In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.

If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.

While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.

To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.

How to spot a malicious email?

While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:

  • Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
  • Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
  • Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
  • Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.

To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows

Example of a spam email:

Example of an email spam

What to do if you fell for an email scam?

  • If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
  • If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
  • If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
  • If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
  • Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.

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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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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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