How the sneaky CEO Apple gift card scam almost got me
It starts like this. You’re sipping your morning coffee in a meeting, and suddenly a text with a tone of urgency pops in — a message from your CEO. It’s a bit unusual, a request for you to purchase several Apple gift cards for client gifts. The CEO is in a meeting all day, and it’s urgent. You don’t want to disappoint, right?
Hold that thought. Before you rush out the door, let’s talk about a sneaky scam that’s been making the rounds — a scam that turns well-meaning employees into unwitting accomplices.
What is the “CEO apple gift card scam”?
The “CEO Apple Gift Card Scam” is as cunning as it is simple. Scammers impersonate high-ranking company officials, sending emails or texts to employees with an “urgent” request to buy gift cards for various reasons.
What if you get an urgent request to buy gift cards from a boss?
So, how can you avoid falling for this trap? Let’s walk through a few key steps to keep you and your company’s finances safe.
Verify, verify, verify. Always verify any unusual requests, especially those involving money or sensitive information. A quick phone call or a face-to-face conversation with the person making the request can save you from a costly mistake.
Look for red flags. Does the phone number match? Or does their email address look off by a character or two if you received the request from your inbox? Are there typos or oddly phrased sentences? These are red flags. Scammers often use spoofed emails that resemble a legitimate address, hoping you won’t notice the difference.
Don’t share the numbers on the back side of the gift card with anyone you are not familiar with. Scammers can use those numbers to empty the card’s balance before you can report it to Apple or the authorities.
Keep a skeptical eye. Gift cards for client gifts? That’s not exactly standard corporate gifting procedure. If something feels off, it probably is. Trust your gut.
Educate your team. Spread the word about this scam. The more people know about it, the less likely they are to fall for it. Consider regular training sessions on cybersecurity and current scam trends.
Implement verification protocols. Set up a system for verifying unusual requests. This might include a multi-step verification process for financial transactions or a designated point person for such requests.
Thousands of hardworking individuals fall prey to these scams every year. It’s not about being naive; it’s about being human. We want to do well in our jobs, be helpful to others, and sometimes that eagerness can make us vulnerable.
How to report a scam to Apple
To report a scam that involves Apple Gift Cards, App Store & iTunes Gift Cards, or Apple Store Gift Cards, you can contact Apple at 800-275-2273 and mention “gift cards” when you hear the prompt or contact Apple Support online.
Kurt’s key takeaways
In the digital age, where impersonal scams are rampant, a little human connection can go a long way. So, the next time you get an urgent request from the “CEO,” make a cup of coffee, walk over, and have a chat. It’s good for security, and hey, it’s good for strengthening relationships.
Remember, in the world of cybersecurity, a healthy dose of skepticism isn’t cynicism—it’s your best line of defense. Stay vigilant, stay informed, make yourself resilient against attackers, and let’s keep the scammers at bay, one busted-up scam at a time.
Have you ever encountered a situation at work that seemed slightly off, but you felt compelled to act quickly due to perceived urgency? Share your experience with us, and let us know how you resolved it or what you would do differently now after learning about such scams by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact
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