Fake Apple billing email is circulating
Not surprisingly, scammers are targeting Apple customers with a fake phishing email asking them to update their account billing information. People who are new to Apple and probably received their first Mac or iOS device during the holiday season are particularly vulnerable to this scam. This group of customers would not be surprised to receive an email from Apple shortly after they signed up for iTunes for the first time.
According to Intego, the email has the same silver coloring as Apple's website and includes the Apple logo to make it look authentic. If you click on the link within the email, you'll travel to a website that closely resembles Apple's website. Of course, there's a login on the fake page that'll steal your Apple ID and password if you make the mistake of logging into the site. On the next page, there's a form that'll steal your credit card information if you willingly submit this information to the fake site.
The only way to tell that this email is a scam is to look closely at the URL contained in the email. The link in the email says "store.apple.com", but the underlying URL directs you to page named "apple.htm" on a server that does not belong to Apple. Depending on your email client, you only have to put you pointer over the link to see a pop-up box that'll expose this fake web address. A real link to Apple's website will end in "apple.com" and not some random name or number like the one shown above.
To be extra cautious, you should avoid clicking on links in an email and go directly to Apple's website by typing in "store.apple.com" into your web browser. Once you've manually logged into your Apple account, you can then update your billing information, if necessary.
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