LOS ANGELES, Sept. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In the wake of the highly anticipated iPhone 5 announcement, Scambook, an online complaint resolution platform, today released a list of the most anticipated scams associated with purchasing the latest iPhone model. Based on previous data and reported pre-launch scams, Scambook estimates that in September alone, as many as one million consumers could purchase a counterfeit iPhone 5.
Counterfeit electronics is a billion dollar industry and Apple products, given their popularity, are frequent targets. In 2010 and 2011, the authorities in California alone seized thousands of counterfeit iPhones, with reports estimating that the perpetrators earned around $7 million. A variety of scams associated with the latest iteration of the iPhone have emerged, with counterfeit iPhone 5 and iPhone 5 accessories already detected online.
"We built Scambook with consumers in mind. As an expert in the space, we are dedicated to not only resolving complaints, but also providing shoppers with the information they need to identify bad business practices and fraudulent scams," said Kevin Yu, VP of Operations at Scambook. "According to CNET, ten percent of electronic and digital products sold around the world are fake and we want to ensure that more consumers do not become part of the statistic."
After sifting through hundreds of consumer complaint reports received over the past year, Scambook has discovered the three most common types of scams consumers need to look out for when purchasing an iPhone:
Product Knockoffs from Unknown Retail Channels
Purchasing an iPhone from an unfamiliar retailer may result in spending hundreds of dollars only to receive a knockoff or an empty box. The best way to receive an actual iPhone 5 made by Apple is to buy from a trusted, reputable source such as Apple itself or certified mobile providers such as AT&T, Sprint or Verizon. If turning to another source such as eBay is a must, make sure the seller accepts payments via PayPal.
Secret Information and Photos
Many criminals utilize the secrecy surrounding an Apple release to bait consumers to click a link where promises of unreleased photos and news about the product await at the other end. In June 2011, Scambook received its first complaint based on this scheme, reporting that a consumer received a Facebook message regarding a special secret announcement from Apple that directed the consumer to a website that installed viruses on their computer. To avoid these types of incidents, keep anti-virus software up-to-date and never open unsolicited email attachments. If doubts exist regarding a message or link, write down the website or some of the message's keywords, and then search for them on Scambook.
Selection to Test a Device Before It's Available
Smishing is a term that refers to identity thieves using cell phone text messages to bait consumers into divulging personal information. These messages entice recipients to visit a malicious website or complete a bogus survey by offering too-good-to-be-true free offers. Beginning in January 2012, Scambook began receiving numerous complaints about iPhone 5 smishing texts that told potential victims that Apple is looking for people to beta test the new iPhone 5.
When consumers are faced with a suspicious or unrecognizable text message, they should ignore it, report it on Scambook and notify the mobile phone provider. It is important to not reply, even if the message directs you to text "UNSUBSCRIBE" or "#END".
Additional Information and Reporting a Claim
For additional information on these iPhone 5 scams and to report a claim, visit Scambook.com. As Scambook continues to monitor iPhone 5 fraud, more information will be posted on the site.
Scambook is an online complaint resolution platform dedicated to obtaining justice for victims of fraud with unprecedented speed and accuracy. By building communities and providing resources on the latest scams, Scambook arms consumers with the up-to-date information they need to stay on top of emerging schemes. Since its inception, Scambook has resolved over $1.8 million in reported consumer damages. For more information, visit scambook.com.