Scammers Set to Pounce on iPhone 5 Hype

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It's just a fact: Apple fans have an insatiable thirst for all things Apple.

The notoriously secretive company has cultivated a curtain of mystique that millions are dying to peek behind. Scammers know this and, on the eve of the most anticipated device release of the year, they’re prepared to take advantage of all those queries for "iPhone 5."

Believe it or not, the iPhone 5 has already been the apple of scammers' eyes for quite some time now.

Late last month, the much-anticipatedphone was the subject of an email phishing scam that took advantage of vulnerability in Adobe Flash. "IPhone 5 Battery Images Leak!!" read the subject line of the malicious message. But instead of exciting battery photos, those link-clickers were left with a Trojan instead.

In February, scammers sent iPhone users texts with an offer to "test" the iPhone 5. They were then prompted to follow a link and enter their personal information — never mind the fact that tomorrow’s device hadn't even been announced yet.

But before then, last September, Facebook pages with titles like "iPhone 5 Giveaway" began popping up. They led users to a page where again they were asked to share personal details. If you gave yours up, you got nothing in return. The iPhone 5 was still over a year away.

Even before that, in May of 2011, not even a year after the release of the iPhone 4, scammers were counting on consumer impatience. Official-looking emails from Apple subject-lined "Finally. The amazing iPhone 5" delivered little more than a phishing scam and a malicious Windows file.

When the device finally does come out tomorrow, there will be a wealth of information, reviews, analysis play-by-play and everything else diehard Apple fans need to get their fix.

Make sure that you get your news from reputable sources. Check your URLs. If it looks suspicious or unfamiliar — stay away.

Also, remember not to input your identifying information on any sites unless you're absolutely sure you know whom it's going to. This is where it's especially important to check the address bar and make sure you have a secure connection.

And remember, there are no free iPhones or special giveaways or anything else like that. If it sounds too good ... You know the rest.