Tech support scams are among the most common of scams and they cost consumers millions of dollars each year. I have been warning you about these scams for years. In the most common variations of this scam, the victim is scammed into responding to a pop-up on his or her computer or a telephone call purportedly from one of the major tech companies and is convinced that there is a problem with their computer that they need to pay to remedy the problem. Recently the tech support scam has migrated to your phone. I received an email from a Scamicide reader telling me about a pop-up notice on her iPhone that appeared to come from Apple telling her that her iPhone was infected with two viruses and that she needed to click on a link provided to protect her data. Fortunately, the Scamicide reader was savvy enough to recognize that this was a scam and did not click on the link. If you do click on the link you either will unwittingly download malware on to your phone, be prompted to provide personal information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft or lured into paying for unnecessary tech support.
These pop-ups have been appearing when people are using search engines such as Firefox, Google Chrome or Safari on their phones. If such a tech support pop-up does appear on your phone when you are on your browser, you should close the browser. Some of these tech support phony pop-ups have a fake button that appear to be a close button, but you should not trust them Don’t click on them. Just close your browser. Some search engines such as Apple’s Safari will allow you to change your settings to block pop-ups, which you may wish to do. Also, it is important to note that neither Apple nor any other tech company uses pop-ups to tell you that your phone has been infected. It is important to have strong security software on all of your electronic devices including your phone and make sure that you update your security software with the latest patches as soon as they become available.
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