The City of London’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has taken down two phone numbers that are believed to be associated with an ongoing crash report scam targeting iOS users.
Victims of the scam report seeing the following message:
**** IOS Crash Report ****
IOS crashed previously due to unwanted websites visit. There is a problem with the configuration of your IOS. Please call Apple Technical Support at 0800-XXX-XXXX. Click on OK this will attempt to send a crash report to Apple. Call now Apple 0800-XXX-XXXX.
This fake report continuously pops up on affected devices, even after users have clicked “OK,” which leads most victims to call one of a series of 800 support numbers.
The Telegraph placed two calls to one of these numbers. In both calls, a representative answered the phone as “iOS Security” and claimed to be a “security provider for Apple.” The technician then asked for the device’s serial number and stated that a charge would be required for their service. When The Telegraph pushed to learn more about the business, such as by asking for its address and website, the technician terminated the call twice.
As noted by F-Secure, this ruse mimics the classic technical support scam, cases of which have been documented as early as 2008.
It is believed that the iOS Crash Report scam originated in the United States beginning in the fall of 2014. Since then, it has begun to target British users, prompting the NFIB’s Cyber Prevention and Disruption Team to take down two numbers associated with the fake Apple support call centers.
Detective Chief Inspector Matt Bradford said: “It has recently come to our attention that there are several telephone numbers and websites involved in a computer software scam, which is affecting Apple’s mobile devices.
“The NFIB is working on multiple phone numbers and domains that have been identified and linked to this scam in order to disrupt them. The City of London Police which is the national policing lead for fraud is dedicated to preventing and investigating fraud at all levels.”
Notwithstanding the work of Inspector Bradford and his team, there is a chance that a different group may co-opt the same scam or that the same groups may adopt a different infrastructure.
Users affected by the iOS Crash Report scam can stop the messages from appearing on their devices by enabling Airplane mode, clearing their History and Website Data in Safari, and then opening the web browser again before exiting out of Airplane mode.
For more information, iOS users can visit this support page provided by Apple.
News of this scam follows the discovery of a vulnerability back in June that allowed hackers to trick users into handing over their iOS Mail passwords.