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updated 12/1/2011 5:21:55 PM ET 2011-12-01T22:21:55

If you use iTunes or buy iPhone and iPad apps, you need an Apple ID. And, as with anything millions of people need and use frequently, cybercriminals are going to try to get their hands on it.

A new phishing email making its way around the Web claims to be from Apple, and tells people that their "billing information records are out of date," Graham Cluley from the security firm Sophos reported. Recipients of the email, titled "Apple update your Billing Information," are told that their Apple accounts will be terminated if they don't update their billing records, and, naturally, the email provides them a link to do so.

Of course, like all phishing scams, the link does not take you to Apple's legitimate website, but instead to a German website, which is now currently offline. Cluley said the crooks behind this scam "are taking a shotgun approach, hoping that a good proportion of recipients have Apple IDs and might be fooled into handing over their details."

If you receive this email, ignore it. That same advice goes for any unsolicited emails that ask you to input personally identifiable or sensitive information. To further protect yourself from scams like this, make sure to run up-to-date anti-virus software on your system, which can detect messages like this as spam.

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