A fifteen-second fix could protect Apple iPhones from a malicious hack that sees UK users ‘charged’ £30 to remove.
The latest security breach is a variation of a scam which took place last year, and which saw those affected persuaded to send money to an unverified online account.
This year hackers have utilised a ‘toll free’ phone number to facilitate payments.
This message is displayed as part of the scam.
A ‘crash report’ pop-up window appears whilst users are browsing, advising them that, ‘due to a third party application, iOS crashed’.
The message then directs users to call a freephone 0800 number.
According to those affected, a person then answers the call and asks for a payment to remove the block on a phone and ‘restart’ iOS.
Users in the UK report being asked to pay up to £30, but in America some have been charged the equivalent of £50.
This fifteen-second fix could help if you become affected:
- Press the Home button to exit Safari
- In Settings, enter Airplane Mode
- In Settings, look for Safari settings, and clear your internet browsing history and cookies
- Reopen Safari and the pop-up warning should have gone
- If it has, take your device out of Airplane Mode
For general advice on browsing securely, view Apple’s full guidance here.
An Apple spokesman said: 'This support page on our website details how iOS users can turn off some features in Safari to help protect their privacy and device from possible security risks on the Internet.'