Apple, Netflix impostors target News 6 employee

Phishing emails claim unusual account activity

ORLANDO, Fla. – Netflix and Apple account holders in the Central Florida area are being targeted in a new phishing con game designed to fool consumers into providing both personal and credit card information.

WKMG-TV News 6 receptionist Karen Gehl said she received what appeared to be a warning from “Apple Help” on Aug. 1 at 11:26 a.m.,alerting her of ”unusual activity” in her Apple account.

“It seemed legitimate,” Gehl told WKMG-TV News 6, “ It had the Apple logo on it.”

The alert, which was sent to her personal email account, explained that her Apple “account will be rejected” because of “significant changes in your account activity.” It continued, “as your payment processor we need to understand these changes better.”

The Apple message directed Gehl to provide account information to the “resolution center.”

A source with Apple told News 6 the email message was a fake and “probably the product of a phishing scheme.”

A few days earlier, a similar email, dated July 26, appeared as an alert on Gehl’s email account from both Apple and Netflix.

The email included the logos of Apple and Netflix and claimed there had been an illegal transaction on Gehl’s Netflix account.

“It really scared me, when it said my (account), it was compromised. I was definitely convinced I was hacked,” she said.

Gehl said she never paid for a Netflix program with her Apple account yet the alert included an order ID, invoice date and a bill for $44.90 billed to her Apple ID.

“The thing is I have Netflix through Netflix, not through Apple. I pay Netflix directly, she said. “Itdidn’t make sense and that’s what had me so confused.”

Gehl contacted the Netflix help Center. She said the representative indicated the company was unaware of the scam.

“If it wasn’t for you, I would have paid it,” she told News 6 investigator Mike Holfeld. “Once I clicked on that link, they would have had my information.”

Gehl didn’t make that mistake and decided to go public to get the word out.

Sources familiar with the Apple impostor told News 6 to advise our viewers to “keep your OS/software updated to the latest version for the latest security and if you feel your Apple ID has been compromised, change your password.

The Apple website advises consumers: "If you receive what you believe to be a phishing email that's designed to look like it’s from Apple, please send it to reportphishing@apple.com. "To report spam or other suspicious emails that you receive in your iCloud.com, me.com, or mac.com Inbox, please send them to abuse@icloud.com.

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