How to get rid of 'iOS crash warnings' scam popups

Have you seen a popup on your iPhone or iPad claiming that iOS has crashed and that you need to phone a helpline for a fix? It's a scam, and here's how you can fix it yourself in under a minute.

Scam iOS crash warnings

Have you seen a popup on your iPhone or iPad claiming that iOS has crashed and that you need to phone a helpline for a fix? It's a scam, and here's how you can fix it yourself in under a minute.

There are a number of variations on the popup. Here are two examples:

"Warning!! iOS Crash Report!!. Due to a third party application in your device, iOS is crashed. Contact Support for Immediate Fix."

"There is a problem with the configuration of your iOS. Please call Apple Technical Support."

These popups, which cannot be dismissed, appear to only be targeting the Safari browser users. The scam first appeared in November of 2014 but appears to have become more widespread in recent weeks.

In all cases there's a phone number - "conveniently" for the victim, it's a toll-free number for their geographic location - and on the other end of the line is someone asking for money to make the popup go away. Needless to say, the person on the other end of the line doesn't have any legitimate connection with Apple, isn't going to make the pop-up go away, and is only interested in your financial details.

Fortunately, the fix for this is easy.

  • Put your iPhone or iPad into Airplane Mode (go into Settings and toggle the Airplane Mode switch into the off position).
  • Go to Settings > Safari and tap Clear History and Website Data.
  • Close Safari (double-press the Home button and swipe Safari up to close).
  • Exit Airplane Mode.
  • Restart Safari.

To reduce the risk of this sort of issue from happening in the future you can block popups (go to Settings > Safari and toggle the Block Pop-ups switch).

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