back to article Gullible Apple users targeted by bogus order cancellation scam

Cybercrooks are targeting Apple iCloud users with phishing messages designed to steal financial information. A new run of spam messages offer a slight twist on the popular ”bogus order" scam. Instead of simply telling you about a payment you're supposed to have made, prospective marks are invited to cancel a transaction …

  1. ukgnome


    Not one single fandroid message about iSheeple.

    This place has changed

    1. WonkoTheSane

      Re: WOW

      It's not lunchtime yet. Reg-ites are still too under-alcoholed to comment properly.

    2. emmanuel goldstein

      Re: WOW

      Here you go:

      "Gullible Apple users targeted"

      That'll be all of them then.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thin line

    "... bad grammar in the spam email ..."

    Hell really will break loose when they've finally nailed the grammar and spelling; slowly but surely over the years most of the rest (formatting, matching bank to TLD in email address etc) has dropped into place, and often its grammar as the last defence that stops the mail even being worth a second look for many people. I've had one or two over recent years, including purportedly from "Apple", that have given me cause for a closer scrutiny they're so good.

    Companies being tighter with the number of domains they use would help a good deal as well - even legit ones often come with initially dodgy looking links.

    1. Just Enough

      Re: Thin line

      I always cringe when expert advice on avoiding phishing includes "a sign of a scam is bad grammar or spelling". Suggesting it's a good way of identifying phishing will result in a false sense of security and there is far more pertinent and useful advice that should be got across instead of this.

      It's true that many scams are done by people who are bad at English, but it is not a sure sign of a phishing email. It is not beyond scammers to write an email without a spelling error, and plenty of authentic emails contain errors.

      So as a "warning sign" it's not something you can depend on in any way.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Thin line

        "but it is not a sure sign of a phishing email"

        But it ought to rack your sense of caution up a notch.

        Looking out for scams of any kind should never rely on one thing alone, but it IS often a single thing that marks it beyond doubt as bad and not worth further consideration, unless there's something to be learned.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Thin line

      "often its grammar as"

      Oh, the irony!

      1. frank ly

        Re: Thin line

        I've often considered setting up a simple spelling-n-grammar correction service. Along the lines of "Send me your specialist e-mail or document, with a Bitcoin payment. I'll correct your spelling and grammar then send it back to you." P.S. Advice to scammers: don't start your e-mail with 'My Dear'.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Thin line

          Or as with many of the dating scams, just plain "Dear".

  3. Bronek Kozicki
    Thumb Down

    Dear El Reg

    If you are going to make news on every type of scam, I will be happy to forward to you every such email I receive. I assure, some of them are pretty imaginative.

    Trouble is, if you focus on this kind of "news", you might not have space for actual news. So, next time please do feel free to ignore "press release" from Sophos etc.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: you might not have space for actual news

      Yeah, I expect your servers nearly full now, what with how long you've been around.

      Anyway, I have to read every article, no matter how irrelevant to my interests, so if you could keep it to stuff I'm interested in that'd be great! Thanks!!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Oracle of technology

    aka Mr Fry, recently said on QI (I think it was) that the bad grammar may well be intentional to grab the slightly less intelligent.

    I can actually see that might be at least partially true

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: The Oracle of technology

      "bad grammar may well be intentional to grab the slightly less intelligent"

      This pdf from Microsoft makes a fairly compelling case.

      1. gerryg

        Re: The Oracle of technology

        A thought provoking read. Thank you.

        While it's difficult to imagine a scammer using this level of analysis to craft an email, I found that the body of the mesaage is crafted to filter out those with more than half a brain so enticing only the stupid and therefore more vulnerable to be compelling.

      2. Tenacal

        Re: The Oracle of technology

        Interesting because it suggests we've been going about the wrong way to try and stop scams like these.

        Rather than boosting email security and junk filters we just all need to start replying to all Nigerian/Ivory Coast/Congo/etc 'princes' and they'll eventually get overwhelmed by all the responses that don't lead anywhere. The scam becomes unprofitable and all the scammers will have to go and find other ways to get rich...

        ..probably by attacking all those accounts that now have less security as a result of the above...

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: The Oracle of technology

          "we just all need to start replying to all Nigerian/Ivory Coast/Congo/etc 'princes' and they'll eventually get overwhelmed"

          I'd like the mail services to add an option to forward each mail in the junk folder to the Reply to addresses of all the other mail. That would overwhelm them PDQ.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The Oracle of technology

            Re the various West African scams; try looking up "419 busters" or maybe "419 baiters". There's a load of people do lead them on and document it. Often hysterically funny results. The scammer with a very serious expression and a loaf of bread and a fish perched on his head is an image I won't forget in a hurry.

  5. Elmer Phud


    " bad grammar in the spam email"

    as if that's going to put off those who play fast and lose with the internet.

    1. VinceH

      Re: Grandma

      "as if that's going to put off those who play fast and lose with the internet."

      Indeed. When will such people ever learn that if they play a little more slowly, they might win with the internet.

    2. 's water music

      Re: Grandma

      Attack of the Underpants 419ers

      1 Bad Grandma

      2 Rule 34

      3 ???

      4 Significant losses

    3. Cassini

      Re: Grandma

      I saw what you did there.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If you're dumb enough to buy Apple, you're dumb enough top believe the earth is flat.

  7. Beech Horn

    Bad spelling and grammar is often used in scams so that only the truly gullible reply. There has been more than one BBC documentary which explains this. This way they do not waste time with those who already know something is up.

  8. DerekCurrie

    Phishing Apple Users Is Nothing New

    Another day, another phishing scam. I've turned in two Apple user phishing scams over the past month to both Apple and My pleasure. I've collected samples of several other Apple user phishing scams over the past seven years.

    Expect phishing.

  9. Compression Artifact

    "Protip: Don't click links in emails from unknown senders. Ever"

    Nearly all of the scam emails I get are from KNOWN (or ostensibly known) senders. These include friends whose machines have been compromised, imposters who have stolen customer databases, and companies who are violating their privacy agreements and sending me crap emails I have opted out of. The last two are usually indistinguishable to the point that the (real) company itself (when contacted by phone) cannot tell me if it's something they actually sent.

    The usual tip-off is not an unknown sender, but either 1) something I've supposedly opted out of or 2) an unexpected or nebulous subject line: Something like "Click here to read your e-Card" (with a link to a site registered in Indonesia). Whenever I get such emails from anyone, I do a View Message Source before opening it. There's usually a bomb under the hood.

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

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