IT security and data protection firm, Sophos, has warned internet users that scammers are using the lure of a free next-generation iPhone to gather email addresses and other personal information.
Sophos has intercepted email spam inviting recipients to sign-up to test, try and keep the much-predicted (but as yet unannounced) next version of the iPhone, which is being dubbed the “4G” by the media.
Separately, Sophos researchers have also uncovered a co-ordinated campaign on Twitter, using avatars of sexy young women, pumping out adverts to users promising a “free iPhone 4G” in an offer that is claimed to end today.
However, clicking on the links provided in either spam campaign takes users to a website which demands private information such as name, address, email contact details and date of birth.
“While it has not yet been officially announced by Apple, and may not be released for a while still, there is a lot of buzz about the iPhone 4G,” says Brett Myroff, CEO of regional Sophos distributor, Sophos South Africa. “Some internet users might blindly hand over their personal information in the belief that they will get a preview version of what will be one of 2010’s hottest gadgets. Users who are careless with their data risk exposing themselves to more spam in future and costly identity theft.”
Sophos recommends that internet users adopt a healthy level of scepticism over “too-good-to-be-true” iPhone 4G offers.
“You have to ask yourself whether Apple would really be leaking a product out to the general public for testing before they have officially announced its existence. But, common sense can go out the window when faced with the possibility of a sexy new gadget, which is unfortunately bad news for personal security and privacy,” says Myroff.