Scammers hit APPLE users with crash warnings
Users are reporting fake crash reports demanding payment in order to fix their Apple devices
iPhone and iPad users have reported receiving pop-up notifications telling them that their software has crashed and that they must dial a support helpline to fix it.
Scammers have targeted Safari, the default web browser for iOS devices, telling users in the US to ring the helpline and pay between $19 and $80 to fix it.
Users in the UK have also reported the issue, with one saying they had been asked for £20 to fix the crash.
When browsing Safari, users receive a notification saying: “Warning!! iOS Crash Report!!. Due to a third party application in your device, iOS is crashed. Contact Support for Immediate Fix.”
Other users have reported a message saying “There is a problem with the configuration of your iOS. Please call Apple Technical Support.” Some users said the pop-up had frozen activity on their browser.
They are given one of a series of numbers to dial – including 0800 279 6211, 0800 652 4895 and 0800 310 1061 in the UK. Users of the Apple support forum said that on dialling the numbers, they were told that a third party app was stealing their data, and demanded credit card details in order to fix it.
In two calls to the numbers from The Telegraph, a representative answered the phone as “iOS security” and claimed to be “a security provider for Apple”. The operator repeatedly asked for the iPad’s serial number and said there would be a charge to fix the problem. When The Telegraph asked for more details about the business such as an address and website, the operator twice cancelled the call.
The scam was first reported in the US in November last year but is still being used and has spread to the United Kingdom.
How to fix it and block the crash reports
- Turn your device on to “airplane mode”, either by swiping up from the bottom of the screen and tapping the plane logo, or going to Settings and toggling Airplane Mode on.
- Delete your Safari data by going to Settings -> Safari -> Clear History and Website Data
- Open Safari and exit Airplane Mode
To prevent the issue happening again, go to Settings -> Safari -> Block Pop-ups.
Advice from City of London police
- This is a scam- do not phone the number.
- Never give your iCloud username and password or your bank details to someone over the phone.
- If you experience this problem with your phone, following Apple’s instructions which explain how to fix the issue.
- If you have been a victim of this scam please report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online