The email in question will look like a normal iTunes receipt showing that the user has paid in excess of £20 for a single song. It will then encourage the user to click on a link which can prevent them from paying the extortionate amount in future.
Unfortunately there are no songs on iTunes which cost £20 and indeed clicking on that link simply leads to a website which asks you to enter your personal details.
This type of scam is called “phishing” because it lures people into either handing over their personal details or clicking on a link which then downloads harmful software onto the computer.
In case you have ever received an email which claims to be from either Apple or one of its services here’s the official line from Apple’s support pages.
The iTunes Store will never ask you to provide personal information or sensitive account information (such as passwords or credit card numbers) via email.
Email messages that contain attachments or links to non-Apple websites are from sources other than Apple, although they may appear to be from the iTunes Store. Most often, these attachments are malicious and should not be opened. You should never enter your Apple account information on any non-Apple website.
Thankfully it’s not all bad news as while this might be a particularly effective piece of fraud recent research suggests that spam emails are actually at their lowest level in 12-years.
Huge efforts by government organisations and security companies are whats believed to be behind the rapid decline.
Of course with the good news must come the bad and in this instance it’s pretty bad.
While spam emails are down, there is a much greater increase in more sophisticated forms of software including ransomware.