iOS Crash Popup Scam: Few fixes to avoid being trapped


The scam

Users of the iOS are being targeted by a fabricated crash-report scam through in-app web browsers like Safari. While a person is using Safari, a pop-up notification unexpectedly appears on the screen, claiming that the system has crashed and that the user needs to call a certain phone number in order to have the problem fixed. Reportedly, the pop-up window cannot be dismissed. Hence the user is forced or rather driven to call on the concerned number which is nothing but a trap to just get some money from him.

The Problem: Why It Is Dangerous

The phone number in question is toll-free for the user’s geographical location. When called, it will be answered by a person posing as a technological representative of Apple Inc. This person will invariably drive the user into paying him a handsome sum of money, without, of course, fixing the problem in the least. Many users of the Apple iOS have lost quite a lot as a result of this scam. The main area to focus here is the pop-up for the user.

A newspaper of the United Kingdom contacted this number to examine the case. The person who answered the phone claimed to be a technological support staff of Apple and asked for the caller’s credit card number. When asked about more business details, such as a website and address, this person disconnected the line.

This scam was first reported in November 2014 in the United States of America. Within the span of a couple of years, it has spread to a large part of the words.

Possible Fixes

Fortunately, there are several ways users can fix this problem by themselves. Here is how to escape the iOS crash popup scam.

  1. To enable pop-up blocker on the iPhone or iPad, one needs to go to their Home Screen and select the Settings icon; wherefrom the Safari option should be found and clicked on. Then, needs to select the “Block Pop-ups” option. The “On” button can be clicked in order to enable it.
  2. One may put the gadget into Airplane Mode (this can be achieved by clicking Settings and toggling the Airplane Mode switch). After this, the Safari option in Settings must be selected, and the user should tap Clear History and Data. Now, the Safari window is to be closed, and the gadget is to be brought out of Airplane Mode. This should be followed by restarting Safari, which may solve the problem.

Warning to the users

  1. Users are warned not to call the number appearing. This will only result in them being cheated out of their money.
  2. Users must never give bank details, credit card number or their iCloud username and password to anyone.
  3. One should be cautious about installing free applications and/or software on their gadgets. These may contain Spywares and Malware, the target for scammers, and even hackers.

Remaining on their guard may save the users quite a bit of harassment—and money.


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