A recent expose by Jennifer Jolly in USA Today has detailed scams that prey on elderly individuals who often lack the tech sophistication and experience to discern genuine system warnings from harmful scams, telling the victims that their devices may have been infected with a virus. Meanwhile, other messages, masquerade as legitimate messages from Apple Support, scare users into calling a fake customer support hotline.
The way many of these scams work is simple: after tricking a user into calling a fake customer support number, scammers on the other end of the line will either ask for financial information to fix the issue or ask a user to download a diagnostic tool.
Here is what some of these scam pop-ups look like:
If you’re browsing around the web and see an unexpected pop-up appear, Apple’s advice reads as follows:
While browsing the web, if you see a pop-up or alert that offers you a free prize or warns you about a problem with your device, don’t believe it. These types of pop-ups are usually fraudulent advertisements, designed to trick you into giving the scammer personal information or money.
Don’t call the number or follow the links to claim the prize or fix the problem. Ignore the message and simply navigate away from the page or close the entire window or tab.
It’s also important to remember that if you’re genuinely concerned about something happening to your computer, call Apple support directly and ignore whatever number appears on the pop-up ad.