back to article Scammers going after iOS as fake crash reports hit UK

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 …

  1. Roq D. Kasba

    Hard to kill

    I've seen a recent spate of hard to kill popups on my Android, but Chrome has a 'suppress further messages from this page' checkbox which means you're not totally stuck. Perhaps Chrome for iThings has the same?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hard to kill

      With iOS you can hit the "tab" selection button and just kill that page. I haven't ever run into such a hard to kill popup on iOS so I can't say for sure this works, but unless it really flummoxes Safari in an especially bad way it shouldn't be that hard to escape. Though the less clueful (i.e. typical) user probably wouldn't know to do that, or to check the "suppress further messages" dialog and therefore be at the mercy of the scammers.

  2. knarf

    I heard a story last week of phone scammers..

    Little old wifie got a call from MS to fix an issue on hers PC, she was well and truly sucked in. A remote desktop service was installed and the scammer proceeded to route about her pc "fixing stuff!". A payment was requested so she handed over her bank details as well as her debit card details after a two hour call. The card transaction failed so they attempted to take the transaction with her credit card(s) for the sum of £150, the actual sum attempted was over £300 but the credit card company blocked this, it was explain to her this was because it was Tunisia and it would have to be a Western Union payment. Then she started to get suspicious asking why Tunisia and it was explained so they could dodge tax in the UK (quite plausible if you ask me), she ended up with no cash taken and likely has to burn her cards.

    You could say a fool and their money are soon parted, but not everyone is tech savy and its much easier to be conned than most people think (look at Politics).

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More technical?

    "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."

    Hmmph! He doesn't seem to understand that it's a javascript exploit by repeating the discredited advice that enabling "block popups" will help. How did he get those awards?

  4. Winkypop Silver badge

    Hanging's too good for them

    Con artists have been around forever, but these cold callers can be very convincing (and forceful).

    When in doubt, always remember they called you and you don't have to provide anything.

    I no longer accept cold calls, even from from legitimate* businesses I have dealings with.

    * AFAIK

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hanging's too good for them

      Received a call informing me of fraud on my debit card (legitimate call), but inexplicably the bank then request that I answer some security questions. They couldn't understand why I refused to do it and insisted that *they* answer security questions, given they were the one who phoned me.

      When in doubt, hang up and call the company using a phone number that you trust (though preferably not from the same landline - given scammers are able to keep the line active and play a dial-tone down the phone to make you think you're initiating a call)

  5. iLurker

    Similar persistent popup messages have been reported by users in Oz as well. Fairly tricky to escape from.

    Looks like Apple will have to deal with this one in a future update.

  6. Ru'

    " look like pop-ups but are actually actually a JavaScript generated dialog"

    Actually actually?

    1. D@v3

      like Literally Actually, actually.

  7. Ian 62

    If you're bored

    Seeing as these guys are operating as a business, time is money. The more time you can waste, the less time they're making money out of people that dont know they're crooks.

    Oh yes, hang on, it's really slow you'll have to be patient.

    Oh someone at the door, back in a moment.

    Oh I've forgotten my password hang on.

    Oh its just crashed it'll need to reboot.

    Oh my internet is really slow.

    Oh my internet has stopped working.

    You want me to install what?..... RICK ASTLEY!!

  8. Tim99 Silver badge

    A Fix

    Click Home Button to close Safari. Double Click Home Button to display running apps and swipe Safari towards top of the screen to close it.

    Open Settings and use Airplane Mode to turn wireless off. Open Safari Settings go into 'Advanced' and turn JavaScript off.

    Now the slightly tricky bit - Open Safari and quickly touch the 'View open tabs' double square icon in the top right corner and close the offending tab.

    Remember to turn Airplane Mode on.

    1. Annihilator

      Re: A Fix

      "It just works"

      1. Tim99 Silver badge

        Re: A Fix


        The "It just works" way is to go to Safari settings and use the 'Clear History and Website Data' option. That seems pretty simple but, just like many of the other devices that you might use JavaScript on, you will lose your previous history which can be inconvenient.

  9. patrick_bateman

    My Dad

    So one day, Me dad calls me saying he has just had a call from Microsoft,

    Oh no, I am thinking, wha have you done dad.

    Turns out me dad let the bloke run off all the the impression he was really glad MS had called him and how devastated he was the he may be running non license software.

    As dad was telling me the story I am think, no just no , why did you go along with this dad!?

    couldn't stop laughing when me dad turned to the 'MS' guy on the end of the phone and said, " so all this dodgy software you say I am running, oh no, please remote in and help me, is your remote remote program Mac compatible.

    lol craked me right up.

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