Scam alert: Apple iTunes account 'suspension'
Moneywise has learnt of an Apple iTunes email scam doing the rounds. Fraudsters posing as Apple Customer Support inform potential victims that their iTunes account has been "frozen temporarily" through an "automatic message".
In an appallingly written email, titled "iTunes Account Suspension Billing Information", the user is warned: "The account will continue to be frozen until it is approved And Validate Your Account Information."
They are then asked to update their account records at store.apple.com to confirm "your Billing Information records".
While the web link may look like it will direct you to the official Apple Store website, which is http://store.apple.com/uk, it will actually redirect you to a bogus site.
In a further threat, the scammers write: "Failure to complete our validation process will result in a suspension of your Apple ID."
In a statement on its website, Apple says: "The iTunes Store will never ask you to provide personal information or sensitive account information (such as passwords or credit card numbers) via email."
Apple also lists the four things it will never ask you to supply via email: your social security or National Insurance number; your mother's maiden name; your full credit card number; and your credit card CCV code.
Arguably, the real warning for email users in the fake email Moneywise received is the poor spelling and grammar, which should immediately flag the message as fraudulent. As too should the email address the message is sent from: email@example.com.
A scheme originally established in 1944 to provide protection against sickness and unemployment as well as helping fund the National Health Service (NHS) and state benefits. NI contributions are compulsory and based on a person’s earnings above a certain threshold. There are several classes of NI, but which one an individual pays depends on whether they are employed, self-employed, unemployed or an employer. Payment of Class 1 contributions by employees gives them entitlement to the basic state pension, the additional state pension, jobseeker’s allowance, employment and support allowance, maternity allowance and bereavement benefits. From April 2016, to qualify for the full state pension, individuals will need 35 years’ of NI contributions.
Used by the holder to buy goods and services, credit cards also have a monthly or annual spending limit, which may be raised or lowered depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder. But unlike charge cards, borrowers aren’t forced to pay the balance off in full every month and, as long as they make a stated minimum payment, can carry a balance from one month to the next, generating compound interest. As the issuing company is effectively giving you a short-term loan, most credit cards have variable and relatively high interest rates. Allowing the interest to compound for too long may result in dire financial straits.