Billed for an iPhone you didn’t buy? Don’t panic!


This phishing scam looks like an honest mistake, but it’s not. BBB Scam Tracker receives reports of fake emails that appear to be receipts for a new iPhone…. that you did not buy. The scammers hope that you will panic and contact them to correct the “error”.

How the scam works

You receive an email stating that you have purchased a new iPhone, and your Amazon account, bank account or credit card will be charged. But you didn’t buy a new phone! Wanting to cancel the charge, you call the customer service number included in the email. The email may even specifically say, “Didn’t make this purchase? Contact us at…” or “If you think you’ve received this message in error, contact us immediately.”

When you call the number, you speak to a customer service representative who tells you they can fix the problem. However, you must act immediately before the charge is posted to your account.

A consumer said the following: “I called the number to get a refund. I told them there was no purchase on my account for $999.00, and they told me it won’t show up for 24 hours and that’s why I have to cancel it immediately. The scammer asked the consumer to download an app as part of the refund process. When the consumer refused, the scammer hung up on him.

Scammers also told victims that their accounts had been hacked. In these cases, the “customer service representative” asked for credit card or banking information, saying they needed it to cancel the sale. No matter what the scammers say, don’t fall for it. Remember that scammers often stoop to scare tactics to entice you into action.

How to avoid phishing scams

  • Check the sender’s email address. Phishing emails are usually designed to appear to come from a trusted source like your bank or Amazon. But look carefully at the sender’s email to see if it is really from an official source.
  • Check the fees with your bank first. If you receive an email saying you made a purchase, check your bank or credit card account. If the change isn’t there, it’s probably a scam. Do not contact scammers. Instead, delete the email and block the sender.
  • Visit the company’s website to verify the claim via email. If the review mentions a department store on the company’s website or an online marketplace like Amazon or eBay, go directly to your account on the website using a trusted link to verify the claim in the e- mail.
  • Never click on suspicious links. It is best not to click on links in unsolicited emails you receive from unknown senders. These links could download malware to your computer or mobile device, making you vulnerable to identity theft.

Source: BBB.org

Learn how to identify fake emails. Become a trained scam detective by visiting BBB.org/SpotaScam and report suspicious activity to BBB.org/ScamTracker.To find reputable companies, go to https://www.bbb.org.


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