Fraudsters target iOS users

There's a new-old elaborate scheme going around the English-speaking world, and this one targets Apple users and their wallets.

According to a report by The Telegraph, iPhone and iPad users in the US and the UK have started getting pop-ups on their devices, telling them the iOS had crashed and that they need to call support in order to fix the problem.

Of course, the pop-up offers the phone number which needs to be dialled which is, as you might imagine, not the real Apple support phone line.

Scammers have targeted Safari, the default web browser for iOS devices, telling users in the US to ring the helpline and pay between $19 (£12) and $80 (£51) 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, The Telegraph says.

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."

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.

The scam was first reported in the US in November last year but is still being used and has spread to the United Kingdom.

In order to fix and block these crash reports, Apple says users should:

  • Switch to Airplane Mode
  • Delete Safari Data: Settings > Safari > Clear History and Website Data
  • Exit Airplane Mode

This is obviously a scam and users are advised not to dial the given number, and not to give the iCloud username and password, or bank details to anyone over the phone.

If you have been a victim of this scam you should report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online www.actionfraud.police.uk.