Beware of “Free Apple Product” SMS messages

Given the all-around popularity of various Apple devices, it’s no wonder scammers often “offer” them as prizes in bogus contests and lotteries.

The latest of these is a scam that targets mobile phone users:

In order to claim the “Free Apple Product”, the user is urged to follow the link and enter a code in order to get the prize.

The website on which the user lands seems to imply that the prize is an iPad, and helpfully warns that only 15 of a 1000 are left.

But in order to get it, the user is then first asked to complete a brief survey, then enter his mobile phone number for a chance to win the “New iPad 2012.”

“Fine print on the page informs users that by entering their phone number they are actually subscribing to an ongoing SMS subscription service that will be billed at $6 per text,” Hoax-Slayer warns. “Those who enter their number and continue, will be taken to various other survey pages and asked to supply even more contact information, ostensibly to go in the running for further prizes.”

Obviously, the prize is just a lure, and the victim will never get it. And unfortunately, as scams go, this one is a rather believable.

“This text message version users a web address that includes the word ‘apple’ in an attempt to make the offer seem like it comes directly from Apple,” Hoax-Slayer points out.

“Furthermore, the claim that the winner must enter a special code contained in the text message to claim the prize is just another ruse to make the offer seem more legitimate. In fact, any string of numbers or letters will be accepted by the code ‘verification’ form.”

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