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BBB Warning Of A Cell Phone Hacking Scam
Updated December 3, 2015 9:27 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(UNDATED) - With smartphones being a major tool for online life now days, officials with the Better Business Bureau want to warn smartphone users that hackers have now found a way to hack into smartphones and hold them hostage.

Scammers have used the tactic on computers in the past, but now experts warn it is showing up more and more on smartphones and tablets. The BBB says the new type of malware, sometimes called ransomware, typical targets iPhone or iPad users on Safari.

Scammers find a way into a smart phone and lock it. Once it's locked the owner cannot do anything with it. The BBB says the message will say 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 the issue.

Officials say to not call the number the program provides for tech support.

There are a few ways to protect yourself. Below are some tips to help keep you safe:

  • Protect all devices connected to the Internet. Computers, smartphones, gaming systems, tablets and other web-enabled devices all need protection from viruses and malware
  • Keep your mobile devices up-to-date. Download operating system, app and security upgrades as so as they are available (you should receive a notification on your device).
  • Be cautious. Secure your phone and other devices with a password.
  • Protect your privacy. Review privacy policies before you download a new app and make sure you understand what the app can access on your phone (contacts, photos, social media, location, etc.).
  • Be savvy about Wi-Fi. When you are on-line through an unsecured or unprotected network, be cautious about the sites you visit and the information you release. Limit the business you conduct at hotspots (wait to do your banking from a secure network).
  • When in doubt, don't respond. Scammers may reach out by email, text, voicemail, even social media posts. Be very cautious giving out personal information and never share account numbers

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