A new flood of phishing emails have been spotted by readers and Twitter users
that ask Apple owners to log in and change their password so they can "get back into your Apple account," possibly a reference to the recent Developer Center downtime
that has locked most developers out of their accounts while Apple overhauls security for the services. The emails thus far contain the usual poor spelling, grammar, phrasing and other flaws that immediately mark them out as scams, but may still trick some unwary users or impatient developers trying to gain Dev Center access.
Because a hot link in an email can hide the true address it is pointing to, many users annually fall for phishing scams -- clicking on a link in an email and being take to a legitimate-looking but fake website designed to capture users' passwords, account details, financial information like credit card numbers or other personal details. As a general rule of thumb, users should always be suspicious of any email that asks for the user to reply or click a link directly to disclose personal information.
If in doubt, users should type in the website mentioned in the email in by hand in the web browser rather than click on any link. Advanced users can check the raw source of the email to see if the link actually goes to the same website as it purports to.
Generally scam emails can be easily spotted, either by a poor standard of English being used or the arrival of a "crisis" email that requires personal information to fix that came to the user unsolicited, reports CNet
. It's even possible for email links to launch malware against the users' computer, though most such scams target Windows machines and don't affect the Mac (and usually require the user to type in their admin password before installing anyway). Phishing emails that specifically target Apple users have been on the rise, since the company now makes the most popular notebook, all-in-one desktop, individual brand of smartphone, tablet and music player in the world.