My Apple ID Is Locked!

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Well folks, it appears My Apple ID is locked! I received an email from Apple that says they will lock my account if I don’t respond in 24 hours because of suspicious activity from Nigeria. The thing is, I received this email back on September 1st and so my account is definitely locked!

Wait a minute! If it’s locked, how come I was able to download Apple’s latest version of IOS on to my iPhone? Also, why was I able to purchase and download a song yesterday? It looks like this is a case of yet another Phishing Scam! Did I fall for it and click the link on the inside of the email? Are there red flags that give this email away as to being a phishing scam? I’ll take a look at that and more, below. You can also check out one of my most recent articles regarding an Amazon phishing email that I received a little while back.

A Scare Tactic in the Header

When people receive phishing emails, scammers like to cause panic by creating title or headers in an email designed to make you worry that your account with any particular company, is in serious trouble. This email I received that’s supposed to be from Apple is no different, but you’ll see that there are some odd things in the header of the email.

Like I said in my article with the Amazon scam email, scammers are hoping that when you see an email header like this, you’ll panic and won’t think through things logically. They’re hoping you click open the email, see that there supposedly has been suspicious activity on your account, click the link inside that goes to Apple (which it doesn’t!) and then log in with your account credentials to fix the problem.

Now the issue with that is the website that opens up from the link you clicked inside the email, is not Apple at all. It’s designed to mimic Apple’s real website so that it will capture your real Apple log in information and then start doing some damage, which is mainly financial.

If you truly fear that your account with Apple or any other company is in jeopardy, just open a browser away from that email, go to the website of the company you have an account with and log in. You’ll more than likely see that your account is just fine and then you’ll realize that email is nothing but a phishing scam. The next thing you’ll want to do after that is let Apple know about the email you received and I’ll tell you how to do that in a bit. Right now, let’s take a look at what the body of the email says.

What’s Inside The Body Of The Email?

Before I get to the heart of the email, let me show you what the header looks like: “{ News alert Remember } : We found there was an error in the account, check and update your account immediately!. //SDSR6548

Apple ID Locked
The header looks a bit odd doesn’t it? I’ve seen a header like that from Apple before so that right there should be a red flag to you that something is just amiss regarding this particular email. Now what does the body of the email say? Let’s take a look:

Dear Customers,

Your Apple ID was used to sign in to Apple Store via a web browser.

Date & TimeL September 1, 2020, 21:43:21 PM GMT

Location: Lagos, Nigeria

If the information above looks familiar, you can ignore this message.

If you have not signed in to Apple Store recently and believe someone may have accessed your account, go to Apple ID and change your password as soon as possible.

Please confirm your account details within 24 hours or your Apple ID will be locked.


Apple Support

One thing I didn’t show is that there were two buttons in that email that said “YES, THIS IS ME and NO, SECURE MY ACCOUNT”. They’re both links that lead you to the same website so you don’t want to click either one of those. I did click the links because I wanted to see how well the scammers tried to copy Apple’s real website. What came up instead tells me that the scammers may have gotten in trouble and I’ll talk about that next.

The Scam By The Scammers May Be Over

You should never click links in an email you suspect to be fraudulent. In this case, I wanted to see where the links take you so I could give you an example of what a phishing website looks like. Surprisingly, a fake Apple website did not appear though I suspect it did exist at one time.

Instead, what came up is a page that said Account Suspended. “The Account has been suspended. Contact your hosting provider for more information“. That tells me that the scammers website has been reported and their hosting provider has suspended their account and website. My guess is someone made a complaint or showed Apple this phishing scam and they took action.

Whatever the case, I’m glad that the fraudulent website has been taken down so that no one can become a victim of this vicious scam. It does make me wonder though how many people fell for this scam before something was done.

Fake Apple Site

Even though I clicked on the link in the email, you should never ever click any links inside of an email that you suspect to be a scam. I was very lucky in this instance, because the phishing website is no longer around. Odds are though, you won’t be that lucky and whatever website that appears, won’t be legitimate and could be filled with viruses and other malware. Now lets take a look at what red flags this email show that it’s a scam.

Red Flags You Should Be Aware Of

As far as red flags go, let’s go back to the email header. { News alert Remember } : We found there was an error in the account, check and update your account immediately!. //SDSR6548

Doesn’t that just look odd to you? What the heck is {News alert Remember}? There also should’ve been two separate sentences in that header such as “We found there was an error in the account. Please check and update your account immediately.

Instead, those sentences are separated by a comma and then there’s an exclamation point at the end followed by a period which makes no sense. Then you’ve got forward slashes followed by a combination of letters and numbers and I just have no idea what that is supposed to be about.

Let’s take a look at the email message. It doesn’t really show any grammar or spelling errors like a lot of other phishing scams do, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t something in there to warn you this is a scam. If you have a legitimate account with Apple or any other company, they should at least address you by your first name. Instead, they address me as Dear Customers.

It’s time to take a look at the email address that the email came from because the email address will always be your number one red flag. Now it does say Apple Support, but if you look just to the right of that, you’ll see the real email address that it came from which is Does that look like a legitimate email address from Apple? The obvious answer is no because Apple will usually have @apple in its email address and it certainly wouldn’t be as long as this email address.

If you’re ever in doubt about the email really being from Apple or not, always check the email address it was sent from because this will be your biggest giveaway of the email being a phishing scam.

Let Apple Know

Apple definitely wants to know what kind of phishing emails are circulating around that claim to be from them. Fortunately, a lot of companies have methods where you can let them know about a phishing email that you received in your inbox.

All you have to do is go to this webpage and follow the instructions on how to forward the email over to Apple. They also have great information about how to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of phishing and other scams. Apple shows that they care about their customers and don’t want them to fall for phishing scams that are mimicking them.

When I said that my Apple ID is locked, you now know that wasn’t really true and it was a scare tactic by the scammers to make me think it was in danger of being locked. All I had to do is go over to Apple’s real site, log in, and see that everything turned out to be ok.

Have you or anyone you know fell for an Apple phishing scam? If so, what ended up happening? Did you actually have to call Apple to get it fixed? Hopefully there wasn’t any serious financial harm done to you or someone you know who became victim of a scam like this. Feel free to post your comments below.