How to spot fake emails like "Payment For Apple Gift Card"

Also Known As: Payment For Apple Gift Card scam email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of email is "Payment For Apple Gift Card"?

We have examined this email and determined that it is a scam. Typically, scammers behind such emails attempt to trick recipients into giving away their personal information or money. These emails often appear to come from reputable sources and contain a sense of urgency to convince recipients to act quickly.

Payment For Apple Gift Card email spam campaign

More about the "Payment For Apple Gift Card" scam email

The purpose of the email is to trick the recipient into contacting scammers by falsely claiming that a payment of $950 was made using an Apple Gift Card. The email provides a fake transaction date and ID, as well as a redeem code.

It instructs to contact the "Itune center" at +1-808-646-8636 if the recipient did not authorize the transaction. The charge is said to appear on the recipient's credit card statement as "Paypal *".

Scammers behind such emails often try to obtain sensitive information or money from recipients. They ask recipients to provide login information, credit card details, ID card information, social security numbers, pay "administration" or other fees, etc.

In other cases, scammers who provide fake customer support or other numbers attempt to trick individuals into paying for unnecessary or fake services or products or providing remote access to computers. It is important to mention that scammers can drop malware on accessed computers, obtain sensitive information, and perform other malicious actions.

A couple examples of scams where scammers provide fake numbers to obtain remote access to computers are "UltraViewer Tech Support Scam" and "TeamViewer Tech Support Scam".

Threat Summary:
Name Payment For Apple Gift Card Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Payment of $950 was made using an Apple Gift Card
Fake Numbers +1-808-646-8636, +1-808-229-4267, +1-808-720-4498, +1-808-720-4187
Disguise Letter from Apple
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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Similar scam emails in general

Scammers behind emails of this kind pose as legitimate entities (e.g., companies or organizations) or real people. Their gal is to extract personal information or money. It is important to mention that emails can be used to trick recipients into infecting computers. These emails are similar to the ones used extract money or information.

Examples of scam emails are "Social Security Account Missing Information Email Scam", "PayPal - You Authorised A Payment Email Scam", and "New Shared Documents Email Scam".

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Malware-carrying emails contain malicious links or attachments. The objective of these emails is to deceive the recipient into downloading and executing malware. The most common types of malware delivery files include Microsoft Office or PDF documents, archive files such as ZIP and RAR, executable files, and JavaScript files.

It is important to note that not all files can infect a computer right away. For example, malicious MS Office documents require macros commands to be enabled before they can infect a computer.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Be cautious of unsolicited/unexpected and irrelevant emails from unknown or suspicious addresses, as they may contain infected files or links to pages that host malware. Download applications and files only from official web pages and stores and avoid third-party downloaders, P2P networks, or other unreliable sources.

Do not trust ads on dubious web pages. Keep the operating system and installed programs up to date. Use reputable antivirus software to protect your computer from malware infections. 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 "Payment For Apple Gift Card" email letter:

Subject: order amount $950

Your Payment was successful Apple Gift Card

You authorized a payment of $ 950.00 USD for a purchase. If you haven't made this purchase, call Itune centre at +1-808-646-8636 to report and block this transaction.

Transaction ID - BX341219965
Transaction Date - 02-10-2023

Redeem Code: XTM37MZHNT528DJT


Charge will appear on your credit card statement as "Paypal *

Contact Us:+1-808-646-8636

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did I receive this email?

Spammers send identical letters to thousands of people hoping that they will trick at least one person into providing sensitive information or transferring money. These spam emails are never personalized.

I have provided my personal information when tricked by this email, what should I do?

If you have shared any account credentials, it's important to change all your passwords immediately. If you have disclosed other personal information, like credit card details or ID card information, it's advisable to contact the appropriate authorities as soon as possible.

I have downloaded and opened a file attached to this email, is my computer infected?

If the file you opened is executable, then there is a high probability that the system is already infected. However, if you opened a document file like PDF or DOC, there is a chance that you might have escaped the infection, as just opening the document may not be sufficient for malware to penetrate the system.

I have read the email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?

Simply opening an email by itself is not harmful. The act of clicking links within the email or opening attached files is what could potentially lead to system infections.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in email attachment?

Combo Cleaner is capable of detecting and removing almost all known malware infections. However, it is worth noting that sophisticated malware often hides deep in the system, making it necessary to run a full system scan to detect and remove such infections.

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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.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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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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