Smartphone users fall victim to ransomware

The Better Business Bureau has put out another warning about ransomware. 

Normally, when tech users think of viruses, they think only computers are vulnerable, but hackers are targeting smartphones and tablets, specifically iPhones and iPads.

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So how does it work?

The BBB said it starts when you're using your browser and it freezes. A popup comes up that says, "Warning IOS - Crash Report. Due to a third party application your phone iOS crashed."

Then you're instructed to call a phone number to fix it. 

The staff will fix the phone for a fee of about $60 and it was all a virus that locked the device. The only way to unlock is to call the number and have the "tech support" person unlock it.

How can you protect yourself?

The BBB suggests:

  • Protect all devices that connect to the Internet from viruses and malware.
  • Keep your mobile device's operating system current. That includes apps and security updates.
  • Secure your devices with a password
  • Know what data apps can access like your contacts, photos and social media accounts.
  • Think before using Wi-Fi, especially on an unsecured or unprotected network. Do all banking from a secure network.
  • Don't respond to questionable emails, texts, voicemails and social media posts.
  • Don't give out personal information and never share account numbers.

To find out more about this and other scams, visit the BBB's Scam Stopper

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