When you’re surfing on the go, scammers are hoping you won’t slow down long enough to see a pop-up on your browser for what it is.
“It’s sneaky, it is, and if I didn’t know it was a scam I would have followed it,” said Brian Ellis, who relies on his mobile for work, class and his social life.
The bogus alert says your operating system has crashed and tells you to “contact support for an immediate fix.”
When you call the number provided, the fake helpline workers help themselves to your credit card.
“This is kind of the start of something that’s going to continue to get worse and worse,” said Kevin Hodges in USC Upstate’s IT Department.
Hodges says scammers can’t easily load virus’s onto your phone because Apple and Google screen most apps.
“So what they have to do is they have to target you because you’re the weaker link as far as getting to your data and they do that with scare tactics,” said Hodges.
The pop-up won’t go away. Every time you open your browser, it’s still there. You can’t x out of it.
That’s because the scammers are running code that’s constantly connected to the internet. But there is one way to get rid of it.”
1. First, put your phone in airplane mode.
2. Then in settings, go to your browser and tap clear history.
3. After that close the browser (On the iPhone just double press the home button and swipe up Safari)
4. Finally, exit airplane mode.
You can also cut your risk of this sort of scam by blocking pop-ups on your phone altogether, also by going to settings, Safari and toggle the Block Pop-ups switch.