Updated: Feb 3, 2020
I was called today by a number (1-336-291-0486) at my home with a CallerID APPLE INC and talked with someone that said my iCloud account was compromised by a hacker in Russia. He was very persistent and his scam quite elaborate.
Since I didn't believe him, I decided to play along. He directed me to the apple.com website, go to Contact Us and find my region (US and Canada). He offered to call me from their support number on the website, listed below. This is actually Apple's accessibility line for customers requiring additional assistance due to a disability. He hung up and called me back on the below number, this time without CallerID. Scammers can impersonate legitimate phone numbers.
Throughout this process, I asked if he could provide me the case number and I would call him back. He was persistent and shared that is was more secure for me to connect to their "secure server" so they could provide me the case number and information regarding the compromise. This is a way hackers can gain access to your computer, download malware and access personal data.
I continued to play along. Ultimately, he wanted me to connect through my browser at
so I could connect to their server. He explained it was not their normal website because icloud.com had been compromised.
What made this so convincing, he had a "reasonable" answer for everything I asked, never broke character as the Apple Support person and didn't hang up. Since I saw my day slowly slipping away, I thanked him for his time and congratulated him on perhaps the most elaborate scam I have encountered to date.
I immediately picked up the phone and called Apple. Surprisingly, Apple had a menu that made it difficult to connect with a live person. I called a second time and found the right response to connect me. To their credit, I had my choice of music to play while I waited on hold for about five minutes. If you are curious, I selected "1" for Pop music.
Apple took my information and listened to my story. I shared the original number they called from and the spoofed Accessibility number. Apple confirmed they would never reach out in this manner, thanked me for calling and directed me to file a complaint on the FTC Complaint Assistance government site. This site is also very confusing, lots of options (not so intuitive), but I found the section to report the incident.
If you see APPLE INC on your phone, please beware!
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