Wednesday, 15 July 2015

How to beat the iScam: Con artists freeze iPad and iPhone users' internet browsers and demand cash to fix it… but there's a 15-second DIY remedy

Apple users are under threat from an iPhone scam that sees them urged to call a number and pay up to £50 or $80 for a fix - or all their details will be stolen, it can be revealed.
The issue - which appears to have been affecting users in the US for at least nine months but has since spread to Britain - sees a 'crash report' message pop up while users are on the Safari internet app.
The message appearing on the screen says: 'Warning iOS Crash Report - Due to a third party application in your phone, iOS crashed. Contact support for an immediate fix.'

Scam: The issue - which appears to have started in the US at least nine months ago but has since spread to Britain - sees a ‘crash report’ message pop up while iPhone users are on the Safari internet app
Users are then told to call one of a list of numbers - '1-800-480-4170' in the US or '0800 279 6211' or '0800 652 4895' in the UK - and someone will then ask for their credit card details to make a payment to solve the issue.
The person answering the phone says a third party has been removing all their details from their handset - and this can only be stopped by paying up to £30 ($47) in Britain, or $80 (£51) in the US.
However, all they would be doing it handing their credit card details to the conmen. 
Instead, users have come up with a quick fix that involves placing your phone in 'airplane' mode, which turns off all connections, clearing your website history and browsing data, and then reopening Safari

Apple users have discussed the issue - which can apparently be averted by disabling pop-up adverts on a device - on an official support forum which has had more than 110,000 views. 
Other users say the issue is caused by adverts infected with malicious code, causing the warning to appear on otherwise safe and respectable websites.
One user named Dizzer88 wrote on the forum last November: 'I too called the phone number to see what was going on. 
'It went straight on hold when I called - didn't ring - and then when someone came on the line, it was a woman who I could barely hear due to the noise in the background.

'She stated that my iOS crashed and was no longer something on my iPhone 5S and that a third party was at that time taking all my info off my phone - nice 'scare tactic', eh?.
'She then said for $80 though she could reinstall iOS and just needed my credit card number -yeah, okay.
'So I said that was ridiculous as I had been using apps and my phone the whole time I was talking to her on speaker, and said I would call Apple Support directly. 
'She told me they would say the same thing about having to pay to have iOS reinstalled on my phone.
'I said 'I highly doubt it' and told her I wouldn't pay the money and that she was essentially full of c***. She then said - probably after realising I wasn't buying any of it – 'okay, ma'am' and hung up on me.'

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