Another reason to be wary this Halloween… one that could potentially cause a lot more headaches than the usual ghouls and goblins. A new phone scam is targeting Apple IDs.

I got a call this morning on my home phone. The call ID said “Apple Inc,” but with a local number. When I answered, I got a synthesized voice saying that my iCloud account had been compromised, and to call an 888 number or press 2 to speak to a representative.

Fishy, right? But also sort of plausible.

Now, as I’ve written before, it’s never a good idea to just follow the link or call the number when you get one of these calls or emails. It’s really easy to disguise the actual destination of a link. (I could say that this link goes to a detailed and scholarly analysis of the Peloponnesean War┬ábut if you click you’ll find… something much better.) Even if you think the message is legit, it’s safer to contact your vendor directly, just to be sure.

So I called Apple Care.

Getting through to an actual person on Apple Care was a lot easier than I expected. I went the Apple website and requested a phone call from a Tech. They called me back within minutes. The representative looked at my information, verified that Apple is not generally in the habit of calling people with that sort of message and that there were no recent flags or other issues with my account.

Took maybe five minutes in total.

It seems this is just a variation on the old call from “Microsoft Support” that would claim the good folks in Redmond had detected a problem and were eager to help solve it… for the low, low cost of a credit card number and other personal information.

Be safe out there, folks. And Happy Halloween.

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