An iOS ‘technical support’ scam first spotted in the US has made its way across the Atlantic, threatening to defraud Apple users by claiming that their device has crashed.
Some iPhone and iPad users have reported seeing a pop-up error message on their screens whilst browsing in Safari.
It reads as follows:
**** IOS Crash Report ****
IOS crashed previously due to unwanted websites visit. There is a problem with the configuration of your IOS. Please call Apple Technical Support at 0800-310-1061. Click on OK this will attempt to send a crash report to Apple. Call now Apple 0800-310-1061.
With users unable to remove the window, some called the number and were told it would cost £20 – or between $19 and $80 in the US – to fix the issue, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Some users reported on the Apple support forum that on calling the number they were told that a third party app was at that moment stealing their data.
As security consultant Graham Cluley wrote, the scam is similar to the popular, cold-calling ‘Microsoft Tech Support’ hustle, in which users are called up at random and tricked into thinking that their PC has downloaded malware.
They are then persuaded either to hand over credit card details for payment to resolve the issue, or to provide remote access to the ‘technician’ who will then download real malware to the machine.
Affected iOS users were recommended to place their device into Airplane mode, go to Settings, Safari and then Clear History and Website Data.
Others claimed enabling Block Pop Ups would prevent the message showing in the first place.
“The risk is that many people may not be so tech-savvy, and may simply believe the seemingly helpful error message that has appeared on their smartphone’s screen and make the phone call,” Cluley argued in a blog post.
“You can do your bit to help the community by warning your friends and family about scams like this, and reminding them that a little skepticism — especially if they get so far as being asked to reach for a credit card — could be a good thing.”
Phil Muncaster UK / EMEA News Reporter , Infosecurity Magazine