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The rise of text and phone scams and why you should worry

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The text was from a number I didn’t recognize, but there was no question I knew the sender’s name.

He identified himself as the CEO of a company I’ve worked with for years, and he had a favor to ask. Would I mind going to the nearest Apple Store and texting him a list of available gift card denominations? He planned to buy a few for his staff as a surprise.

I was immediately suspicious.

For one thing, the CEO is in California, and I’m 2,500 miles away in Massachusetts. He also deflected my request for a call to confirm details by explaining that he was on a conference call with a client, an unlikely excuse on a Saturday afternoon.

When I again insisted that he call to confirm, the texter went silent for good.

A quick search showed that the Apple gift card scam is common enough that Apple has devoted a page to it on its support site.

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