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Scammers going after iOS as fake crash reports hit UK

Hey fanbois, call this number to fix problems that doesn’t exist

Laurel and Hardy on the phone

Tech support scammers have begun targeting UK iPhone and iPad users, offering to fix problems that don't actually exist.

Cold call scams that seek to hoodwink Windows users into paying for useless remote diagnostic and cleanup services have been an issue for years.

More recently, scammers have broadened their sights to target smartphone and tablet users with offers to fix non-existent problems.

iOS device-focused scams, first seen in the US last September, have recently migrated to the UK.

The scam is based on faked iOS crash reports, generated as potential victims surf the web. These bogus error messages1 attempt to trick iPhone and iPad users into calling a phone number where scammers pose as Apple tech support personnel.

iThings owners can then be coaxed into handing over payment card details to resolve non-existent problems.

The City of London Police have intervened to take down numbers and domain associated with the recent iOS, scam but this still leaves the possibility or the reappearance of the same scam by a different gang, or by the same groups using a different infrastructure.

Action Fraud has published an advisory on how consumers ought to respond if confronted by the scam, which links to advice from Apple, here.

A more technical explanation of the scam and how to avoid it can be found in a post on Mac security specialist Intego's blog here.

The appearance of the scam in the UK was first reported by the Daily Telegraph last week.

Bootnote

1The bogus error warning images look like pop-ups but are actually actually a JavaScript generated dialog. The dialog continuously re-spawn itself on IoS devices and can be very difficult to dismiss, net security firm F-Secure warns.

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