There’s a new scam out that could spell trouble for millions of smartphone users.
The Better Business Bureau serving Greater Maryland are warning about pop-up messages, the latest attempt by hackers to gain access to valuable personal and financial data and/or extort ransom money.
BBB says an Annapolis woman reported getting a pop-up that told her if she didn't download "Applock" for free on Google Play that her iPhone's SIM card would be damaged and her contacts photos, data and applications would be corrupted. By downloading a scammer's app, the user could have ultimately opened up her device to malware and spyware. Doing so could be costly and expose the victim to identity theft and financial fraud.
A search on BBB Scam Tracker found that 81 reports this year of similar scams using pop-up messages on phones.
On its website, Apple advises its user if they get a pop-up ad or a page warning you about a problem with your device just simply close the pop-up ad, or navigate away from that page and continue browsing.
BBB is also urging consumers to report any type of on-screen message that attempts to dupe them into believing their iPhone or other device is infected or damaged.
For more information on consumer news and scams and how to avoid them, visit bbb.org .