Creative online crooks have been ripping off Apple gift card holders for more than a month, according to security software vendor Symantec.

“eSecurity Planet” ( says the phishing scam “requires a little bit of luck for the bad guys and lot of naivety on the part of the card holder.” The con artists set up a phishing site using a typosquatted URL — a URL that’s a deliberate misspelling of Apple or some derivation of Apple’s online store — and then lies in wait for those folks who hastily typed in the erroneous address.

Once the page is loaded, the bogus site appears to be a legitimate Apple site, complete with the correct customer support phone number and the same look and feel of Apple’s consumer web sites. “With the hook baited, the crooks try to reel in consumers by providing what looks like a safe and simple way for card holders to check the balance on their Apple gift cards,” notes “eSecurity Planet.” “It includes a field for the 16-digit card number and the eight-digit PIN number.