Phishing Scam Lures with Free iPhone Offer

October 16, 2015

Test the upcoming iPhone 7 and get a free iPhone 6 at the same time! If this sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. Scammers are using Apple’s popularity to phish for credit card information.

How the Scam Works:

You receive an email or spot a social media post claiming that Apple is looking for people to test it’s upcoming iPhone 7. You’ve been “randomly selected” to try out the new device. To sign up as a tester, all you need to do is complete a short survey. Then, as a thank you for your participation, Apple will send you a free iPhone 6.

You click to the website, and the survey seems official. It has basic questions such as, “Do you currently own any Apple products?” However, when you get to the end of the survey, the site prompts you to enter your credit card information. It claims that “Apple” just needs to charge you shipping costs for the free iPhone 6.

Don’t do it! There is no free iPhone, and Apple is not looking for iPhone 7 testers. Sharing your credit card number and personal information with scammers opens you up to fraudulent charges and, identity theft.

Tips to Spot a Fake Survey Scam:

Many businesses offer discounts or free products in exchange for customer feedback and information on shopping preferences. It can be hard to tell a real offer from a fake one, but here are some pointers:

Look up the website on WhoIs. Right click on the link and select “Copy Link Address.” Then, paste this destination URL into the directory. This directory will tell you when and to whom a domain is registered. If the URL is brand new, or if the ownership is masked by a proxy service, consider it a big warning sign of a scam.

Watch out for look-alike URLs. Scammers pick URLs that look similar to those of legitimate sites. Be wary of sites that have the brand name as a subdomain of another URL (i.e., part of a longer URL ( or use an unconventional top level domain (the TLD is the part of the name after the dot).

Legitimate businesses do not ask for credit card numbers or banking information on customer surveys. If they do ask for personal information, like an address or email, be sure there’s a link to their privacy policy.

Watch out for a reward that’s too good to be true. If the survey is real, you may be entered in a drawing to win a gift card or receive a small discount off your next purchase. Few businesses give away gifts worth hundreds of dollars just for answering a few questions.

For More Information

To find out more about other scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper ( To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker (