As the exchange of important financial information via smartphones and tablets increases due to shopping during the holiday season, the Better Business Bureau advises online shoppers to exercise caution. A new virus targeting iPhones and iPads using Safari “holds phones hostage,” locking the owner out of the device completely. Victims of the scam will see an error message on their screen reading “Warning IOS – Crash Report. Due to a third party application your phone iOS crashed,” and instructing them to call a support service to fix the problem. Upon calling, the victim will be asked to pay a $50 to $60 ransom to unlock the device. The BBB advises those who fall victim to the scheme not to pay the fine or even call the number, but rather to contact your service provider, who might be able to help find a way out of this situation. In addition to issuing a warning about the scam, the BBB also shared online safety tips from the National Cyber Security Alliance.
- All devices connected to the internet (computers, phones, iPads, tablets, etc) should be protected from malware and viruses
- Exercise caution by setting a passcode for your device
- Keep iOS and applications up to date, install upgrades when they become available
- Read through privacy policies on applications before downloading
- Be aware of your Wi-Fi type and usage. Do not share private information on unprotected or insecure networks.
- Do not respond to scammers. You may be contacted through text message, voicemail, social media, etc, and if you are concerned about the validity of the source, do not reply.