Survey scammers impersonate Apple via SMS

As the number of smartphone users increases with each passing day, survey scammers have turned some of their attention to targeting users directly via SMS messages containing malicious links.

A couple of days ago, a spam campaign purportedly offering Walmart gift cards for free has been spotted, and now Sophos warns users about messages supposedly coming from Apple, notifying them of having become a winner of a bogus contest:

Knowledgable users won’t be fooled by the mention of Apple in the URL, and will know that the domain to which the link wants to take them is Unfortunately, not all users are experienced enough to spot this trick.

“Textwon’s WHOIS information reveals that it is a brand new domain, registered on May 4th 2012. The actual contact information for who registered the domain is hidden behind by a domain privacy service, but the A-Record IP address of the domain is linked with others that are known to have hosted malware, scams, adware and fake anti-virus in the past,” Graham Cluley points out.

Links such as this one usually lead to scam pages offering a chance to win pricy goods in exchange for taking an online survey.

Scammers earn a small amount of money for each completed survey, and usually ask for the victims’ cellphone number. More often than not, submitting their number also means they have authorized the scammers to subscribe them to a premium rate service.