Users in UK and US reporting fake crash reports demanding ransom in order to fix their Apple devices

Scammers have hit upon a novel idea to scam iPhone and iPad users in United Kingdom and United States. Many iPhone/iPad users have reported they are receiving pop-up notifications telling them that their software has crashed and that they must dial a support helpline to fix it.

The numbers given in the the warning are 1-800-480-4170? in the U.S. or “0800 279 6211? or “0800 652 4895? in the UK.

The Scammers target iPhone/iPad owners and users see a see a “crash report” message pop up while using Safari, the default browser. The users are then told to call a number (given above) to fix the issue, but when contacted, are told to pay around $19 and $80 (£50) to fix the problem or face having all their personal details stolen.

Users in UK and US reporting fake crash reports demanding ransom in order to fix their iPhone/iPad

While other users have reported a message saying “There is a problem with the configuration of your iOS. Please call Apple Technical Support.” Some users said the pop-up had frozen activity on their browser.

According to those affected, a person then answers the call and asks for a payment to remove the block on a phone and “restart” iOS. However, the whole conversation is a con and the user is in fact giving their bank details to scammers.

Many users in UK and US have already fallen prey to the scam. If you receive any such notifications, here is how to fix it and block the crash reports

Apple has directed users to a support page that explains how to fix it. Here’s how to prevent the pop ups.

  1. Turn your device on to “airplane mode”, either by swiping up from the bottom of the screen and tapping the plane logo, or going to Settings and toggling Airplane Mode on.
  2. Delete your Safari data by going to Settings -> Safari -> Clear History and Website Data
  3. Open Safari and exit Airplane Mode

To prevent the issue happening again, go to Settings -> Safari -> Block Pop-ups.