Apple users from the US and UK have been under attack for months from con artists who freeze iPhone and iPad gadgets, and demanding that they pay $80 in the US, and ?30 in Britain to restore iOS setting. This iScam scare is real, and users are urged to be vigilant about it.
According to the Daily Mail, 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 that appear says: ‘Warning iOS Crash Report – Due to a third party application in your phone, iOS crashed. Contact support for an immediate fix.’
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. Upon calling, someone from the other end of the line will then ask for their credit card details to make a payment to solve the issue.
The person would warn of a third party that has been removing all of the user?s details from their handset, saying that it can can only be stopped by paying up. Concerned Apple owners tend to give away credit card details after.
Apple users have discussed the issue, and the topic has been 110,000 times.
Other users say the issue is caused by adverts infected with malicious code, causing the warning to appear on otherwise safe and respectable websites.
User relates experience with conman
According to Daily Mail, 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.’
How to protect yourself from iScam
Users are asked to be very careful in giving out personal or important details, specially when it involves money. A quick fix when your phone freezes and receive the message involves placing your phone in ‘airplane’ mode.
This turns off all connections, clearing your website history and browsing data, and then reopening Safari.
An Apple spokesman said: ‘This support page?on our website details how iOS users can turn off some features in Safari to help protect their privacy and device from possible security risks on the Internet.’