Spam messages have been sent out by cybercriminals claiming to reward loyal Apple customers with AU$100 (just over US $100) of credit to spend in-store if they just buy a AU$9 discount card.
100 dollars for just 9 dollars? Crumbs.. that's generous. It's a wonder that Apple makes any money with marketing campaigns like this! (Or rather it would be, if the email could be trusted).
The message body of the email reads as follows:
Dear Apple Customer,
Apple is rewarding its long-term customers. Your loyalty for our products made you eligible for buying an Apple Discount Card. With this only 9 AU$ Discount Card you will have 100 AU$ credit at any Australian Apple Store or on http://www.apple.com/au/ .
To acquire your Apple Discount Card please download and complete the attached form.
100 AU$ Credit Bonus
( You will receive your Apple Discount Card via e-mail in the following 24 hours after your payment has been made.)
Attached to the emails is a file called:
Apple Discount - Complete this form to get your discount.html
If you make the mistake of clicking on the attached file, you will be presented with a form which asks for a surprising amount of information: your name, your address, date of birth, driver's license, your mother's maiden name.
That information is bad enough to hand over to the online criminals - but it gets worse.
The form goes on to ask for your credit card details - including your security code, what password you use for Verified by Visa / Mastercard SecureCode and even (rather cheekily) your credit limit!
Of course, the emails don't really come from Apple - and users should never hand over such information. Just because an email is nicely formated and attractively presented with a friendly corporate logo and a too-good-to-be-true offer doesn't mean that it should be trusted.
Take care folks - don't let your lust for the iPhone 5 blind you to the risks of responding to unsolicited emails like this, or you could become the victim of identity theft.Follow @gcluley