Strange message from Apple Itunes Store

I got an E-mail message from the Apple Itunes Store:

The link was to a site. I clicked it and nothing seemed to happen. I can’t find any new downloads in Itunes.

Could this have been some kind of phishing scheme or malware or virus trick?

I take it this was on your Mac, correct?

If it was a phishing scheme and caused some malicious piece of software to be downloaded, the (overwhelming) odds are it’s for a Windows PC and won’t harm your computer. That said, you may want to protect yourself from what sounds fishy with a few things.

First off, your suspicions were rightly aroused. Even if it is legitimate, you were right to be worried about it. But you probably shouldn’t have clicked the link.

The first thing to check is whether the link actually goes where it says it goes. Forging a link is ridiculously easy - heck, you can do it right here on the boards at If you use Mail, you can see where an actual link goes by hovering the pointer over it without clicking. Or copy the link (right/ctrl-click) and paste into a text program, or view the message raw source.

Secondly, you might want to check that the e-mail was sent from whoever claimed sent it. This is a bit tricky, and unreliable, but you can usually tell if it’s really from the company that sent it. Try comparing the “received” lines with a message that is known to be valid. Look for something like “Received: from ([])” and see if the addresses are similar. The problem is that big companies like Apple often change mail servers, and doing the work to find all this out takes a fair amount of time.

The last thing to do is to mistrust messages like this in general. If you get a message from the ITMS, use the channel you normally use to buy or check music (within iTunes). Or if it’s your bank, go to the bank’s website first. If you have questions, don’t reply directly to the e-mail. Find another e-mail address and forward the message to them with your question.

Seems to be legitimate:

Last time I opened a link from an Apple email, it directed me to the link. Rather than opening a website it automatically opened up my itunes to the page that it was talking about in the email. Did itunes open when you clicked on that link?

My Itunes was already open. There seemed to be a very fast flash of something happening, but in the end, I couldn’t find any new downloads.

In iTunes, go to the “Store” menu and click “Check for Available Downloads”. That should grab whatever it is they’re talking about.

I am imagining that clicking the link they sent you has the same effect as clicking that menu item. If it finds something that you own but have not downloaded, it will start the download immediately without prompting you. The only visible sign of this happening will be a little spinning icon next to the “Downloads” playlist.

Is it possible that it did this and you didn’t notice? Sort your music library by date and see if there is a new file.

Already tried that.

Already tried that.