Many people think that viruses only affect computers, but scammers are increasingly targeting smartphones with malware scams. Watch out for a con that uses malware to lock victims' phones and asks them to pay to fix it. Currently, this particular scam seems limited to iPhones and iPad users on Safari, but all smartphones users can be targeted.
How the Scam Works:
You are using the Internet on your smartphone, and suddenly the browser freezes. A pop up appears saying: "Warning IOS - Crash Report. Due to a third party application your phone iOS crashed." The pop-up instructs you to call a "customer support" number immediately to fix this issue.
If you call, "tech support" staff will offer to fix your phone... for a fee. Victims report that scammers charge about $60. This type of malware is known as ransomware. These viruses freeze the device and prompt the victim to pay to unlock it.
Protect Your Mobile Phone from Ransomware
The National Cyber Security Alliance offers these suggestions for keeping your mobile device clean of viruses and malware:
For More Information
To learn more about protecting your mobile devices, go to StaySafeOnline.
To quickly clear pop-up "warnings" from your iPhone, follow these steps from the technology news site ZDNet.