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Michigan AG warns of Apple tech scam that could give remote access to your phone

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Posted at 11:11 AM, Aug 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-26 11:11:11-04

(WXYZ) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has issued a warning to Michiganders about an Apple tech scam.

A Michigan woman was reportedly contacted by a scammer who told her her phone needed a security update and he could assist with the process.

The woman followed instructions and unknowingly gave the scammer remote access to her phone, and he transferred $1,000 out of her bank account.

Some tech-support scams may begin with a phone call from a real person, while others may be initiated with a robocall. The Attorney General’s office has an example of such a call on its website.

“Whether the call is coming from a live person or a robocall, Michiganders must be cautious whenever contacted by unsolicited callers, particularly when those individuals are seeking access to your personal devices, like a smartphone, tablet or computer,” Nessel said. “As more people are working and attending school from home, we are relying more heavily than before on our electronic devices. Scammers are crafty, and they are constantly identifying new ways to attempt to steal personal information, so Michiganders must be on the lookout for anything that seems suspicious.”

Anyone who gets an unsolicited call or email should hang up or delete the email.

Those who are contacted by an unsolicited caller or receive an email from an unknown source offering tech support and seeking remote access to a computer or other electronic device should hang up the phone or delete the email.

Scammers will often try to instill fear in their targets and present a sense of urgency to their request. However, independently verifying the source of the call or email before responding to any request being made will help targets avoid falling victim to the scam.

Complaints of tech support scams, robocall and other consumer protection-related issues can be filed online with the Michigan Department of Attorney General. Unwanted calls can also be reported to the Federal Trade Commission online or by calling 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357).