Scam Web Pages on iPhones: How to Get Rid of Them

Curse you, scammers!

Curse you, scammers!

If you’ve come to this page because you are worried that the FBI or any other law enforcement agency is threatening you with arrest through your web browser, PLEASE read this entire article carefully. These types of “warnings” are scams meant to prey upon your fears. Law enforcement does not demand fines through web pop-ups (and there is no technology that would allow them to do so even if they wanted to). So read on and relax – you are not going to be arrested because of these scam messages. I assure you, even if you think the warning looks real or is somewhat different than the warnings I describe in the article, they are, in fact, all scams.

A previous article I had written a couple of years ago about an “FBI” phishing scam affecting Mac computers continues to receive a lot of attention. Additionally, I also get a lot of questions about getting rid of scam pages that can pop up on Macs from another article I wrote. Gradually, the questions being asked are more often about these types of scam pages showing up on iPhones or iPads. Some scam pages are easy to ignore and close out. However, increasingly scammers are creating fake warning messages that seem to continually return even if we tap the OK button many times. As long as that fake warning message is showing up on our screen, we can not use Safari and browse the web. A lot of people get freaked out that the fake warning messages might actually be real since they can not seem to get rid of them. Or they believe that their iPhone or iPad is infected with some sort of virus or malware and start to panic. While it can be a little tricky to close out these scam pages on an iPhone, I have come up with a solution that is fairly simple to perform.

  1. First, keep in mind that whatever the dire warning says, it is a scam. Ignore the message and move on to getting rid of it. NEVER call any phone numbers displayed when you see a scam like this, even if they say they are from Apple, Microsoft, or any other well-known company.
  2. Additionally, your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch is NOT infected with any sort of virus or malware. There are NO known viruses or malwares that can infect an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. So you DO NOT need to overreact and do things like wiping out your device or restoring from a backup.
  3. When you are confronted with a scam warning that you can’t seem to get rid of, push the home button on your iPhone to go back to the home screen.
  4. Open the Settings app and scroll down until you see Safari. Tap on Safari and then scroll down until you see Advanced.
  5. Tap on Advanced and you should see an option called JavaScript.
  6. Turn off JavaScript (make sure it is NOT green) and then double-click the home button to pull up your recently used apps.
  7. Safari should be the first app listed. If not, scroll over until you see it. Tap on Safari to open it. You will need to click OK on the fake warning message once or twice more. The warning should now go away and you should be left with the underlying scam page.
  8. Tap the “tabs” icon in the lower right corner of the Safari window (it looks like two squares, one on top of the other). If you don’t see the tabs icon, scroll up until you see it appear. Tapping the tabs icon will bring up a screen of all your open web pages and possibly a list of open web pages on your other devices.
  9. The scam page should be at the bottom of all your open web pages. Tap the small “x” icon on the left side of the scam page and that should close it out. Now double-click the home button again. Look for the Settings app and tap it. Turn JavaScript back on (make it green). Now you can return to browsing with Safari again.

Once again, the key thing to keep in mind is that regardless of the nature of the scam (FBI warning, virus warning, etc.) they are in fact ONLY scams. The FBI (or other law enforcement agency) is NOT going to contact you through a web pop-up and there are NO known malwares that have ever affected the iPhone or iPad. Fear is the scammers’ weapon. So calm down and continue on with your day!

If you have any questions about scam pages or any other technology-related topic, please post your question on my new Question & Answer forum on my web site! Your questions may help other people find answers to their technology problems as well.

Update: Even if a scam web page tells you where you are located or shows you an IP address, this does NOT mean it is law enforcement. It is simple to code a web page that can query your IP address and there are public databases available that correlate IP addresses of Internet providers with physical location. This is simply a smoke-and-mirrors trick to scare you into thinking someone is tracking you. Do not play into their game by being afraid.

  • Zatch

    Got this on my iPod a few times lately so I decided to restore… When going through the restore menu’s at one point it asked me for a password for a completely different account… A Gmail account that looked to be tied to a porn site. So now I just don’t know…

  • Because this is a scam and not any sort of malware, it is not necessary to go through such extraordinary measures to eliminate the scam pages. You do not need to restore your iPod as it is not infected in any sense of the word.

    What is probably happening is that when you attempt to restore an iOS device that has the “Find my iPhone/iPad/iPod” feature turned on, it will force you to enter in the iCloud username and password that is tied to that device. Has this been your device the whole time? Did someone else own this iPod and leave their iCloud account tied to it?

  • Zatch

    It’s been my iPod since the day it came out with only my account on it. The Gmail account it was showing is not mine. I understand my device was never infected but one can never be too safe, plus the way iCloud backs everything up it wasn’t a big hassle to do a restore.

  • Steve

    On my iPhone it came up and showed my ip and what type of device I was on (iOS) so I click on the “ok” button by accident and closed all the pages, my phone seems fine, do I need to worry???

  • Ok, good you were able to restore it. So all should be well.

    I agree that one can never be too safe, but also it is possible to take security too far, to the point to where it is making unnecessary work. In this case, there is nothing on your iPod that is making these scam pages show up. They will show up only if you are visiting sites that are triggering them. Regardless of your restore, you will see the scam pages again if you go to the same places that triggered the scam pages (assuming they are still triggering them).

    Thanks for commenting!

  • No need to worry. Read items 1 and 2 again.

  • Steve

    I know but it’s just because it showed my ip it scared me

  • Yeah, that usually does scare people. The reality is that is it very simple to create a web page that shows you your IP address. It really isn’t a security issue at all. But it does seem scary, which is exactly what the scammers want.

  • Ray

    Thanks so much for offering this blog Marcel, and in my internet research you seem to offer the best information regarding the fake FBI Ransomware scam. I own an iPhone 5 and got a similar fake warning this past Tuesday afternoon, which is a very scary thing to have happen (even though you know that you did nothing illegal). Mine didn’t say FBI, but was of a similar nature (as was described above) with my IP address, etc (which causes even more concern). I immediately closed the pop-up which was very fast and easy to do (I didn’t hit “ok”), logged off, and it has never come back. But I did report it to Apple, and they opened a case on it; they said to call back if I had any other problems with the scam pop-ups. I also did the following: deleted the Clear History and Website data, and deleted everything in my Advanced Setting in the Website Data location. I also uploaded the “NowSecure” mobile security package on my phone, and it said my operating system was at “high risk”; it gave me a score of 5, so do you what that means? But Marcel is there anywhere else on my iPhone 5, where the scam site information/address could still be stored/located on my phone? If so could you please post how to find the other iPhone (data) locations (if needed)? Additionally as you’ve stated an iPhone cannot be infected by a virus, so I assume that means that this scam site could not come back at a later date to do more harm? If I understood you correctly the scammers can only launch a pop-up on an iPhone (in my case it was using Safari), but nothing else (i.e. try to load illegal material on your iPhone, etc.)? Thanks again Marcel.

  • Jay C

    Thanks man I was legit so scared because I never watched anything this disgusting (like child pornography) in my life.

  • What the NowSecure app does is review the apps installed on your phone for “unsecured” apps, as they define it. It does not scan for malicious code, as there is simply nothing that can infect an iPhone. So the score of 5 is probably related to how securely they think the apps on your iPhone treat your data. It really has little to do with what most people think of as “insecure”.

    There is likely not any place relevant that the scam site information would still be on your phone. Even if it was stored somewhere in some data cache, it can’t do anything to hurt you. These scam pages have no executable code. They don’t “lurk” in the background of your iPhone. Once you close them, they’re pretty much “dead.” Since you cleared your cache and history, it’s almost completely gone for certain.

    The scam site can not “come back,” but if you visit that scam site again, then it will display again. This doesn’t mean your iPhone is “infected” or anything, but simply that you loaded that scam page. The same for any other scam pages in the future. You simply visited them and your iPhone is simply displaying what was loaded.

    Scam pages can do no harm to your iPhone. They can only be annoying and scary. The only possible negative impact they can have would be convincing someone to actually pay the scammers money, or scare someone into doing something drastic and unnecessary to their iPhone and possibly delete their own data. Either way, the harm would be self-inflicted, not direct.

  • Ray

    Thanks for your explanation of NowSecure, and about their security score for my iPhone. It now sounds like (according to you & my contact at Apple) I probably don’t even need it, but when it first happened I thought that I should try to have more security. Though it’s a big comfort to know that my IPhone cannot become infected from that big scare on Tuesday, nor from it in the future. I was originally concerned not only from their outlandish (ridiculous) but very effective scare (I knew immediately it was a scam, but it’s still scary particularly when you see your IP address) tactics, but also about ID theft, my bank information being breached, etc. But it sounds like I did the right things, and I didn’t even think about deleting anything on my iPhone since there never was anything illegal on it. Although I can certainly understand why some people may overreact if they have one of these malicious pop-ups suddenly appear on their phone or computer, but like you said then that person is doing the harm themselves rather than it being directly from these internet criminals. Since it is happening to an increasing number (from what I have read) of people with the popularity of iPhones, etc., let’s all hope that the “real FBI” or local, state, federal police agencies can help to catch these criminals from scaring and stealing money from innocent people.

  • Adrien

    I got one of these saying it was the FBI and that I had pirated material and viewed illegal porn. Good to know its fake, I nearly went into a panic attack! Thank you!

  • Amber

    I got the fbi scam on my iPhone today. I was able to get the message to go away and I cleared my browser history. I just want to clarify that I don’t need to do any thing else to my phone? I don’t have any kind of virus correct? Is it safe to use my banking app?

  • Maddi Michaels

    I got this today, and I guess I made the dumb decision of resetting my iPhone (holding down home and lock button) and now my phone won’t turn on. What do I do?

  • Valerie

    It happened to me too I just backed out of anything that I was in and it went away

  • Evan

    Question can this thing mess with your Apple ID password? Cause I recently tried downloading a app but it kept telling me I had the wrong password

  • Mike

    I got the pop up and went straight to settings and cleared everything am I all good from the virus it never locked me out of my phone?

  • jodihume

    THANK YOU. I kept finding lots of articles about this being a problem and how to avoid it in the first place, but nowhere else did they actually give a solution for getting rid of it. MUCH appreciated. 🙂

  • You’re welcome!

  • It’s not a virus. There is no malicious code involved. It is only a scam. Once the page is gone, you are fine.

  • No, this is not a virus or malware. There is no code involved. It is only a scam web page. It can not affect anything on your phone, other than making it hard to work with Safari until you can close the page.

  • Resetting your iPhone should not cause any problems. The fact that your iPhone won’t turn on is probably a coincidental issue. I would start by charging your iPhone with an Apple charger. After it’s charged for like 30 minutes, try turning your iPhone back on again. You may also want to try restarting it again.

  • You are correct. This is not a virus or any malicious code. It can not affect anything on your iPhone. You are safe to use your banking app.

  • You’re welcome!

  • They count on the fact that people will be scared and that enough people will act out of fear to make it worthwhile for them.

  • alex burr

    so i was browsing youtube and left my tab open
    i later came back to find a pop up ios 9 add that states the fbi is going to prosecute me unless i pay $500. is this real or not?

  • Bill

    I got this notification, but it even knew where i was located, i would never watch such disgusting acts. Should i be worried that it even knows where I am?

  • It doesn’t “know” where you are. It is simple to code a web page that can show you your IP address and there are public databases available that correlate IP address with physical location. So breath easy. It’s still a scam, just a scary one.

  • Reread my article and click the link about the FBI scam for more information. Trust me, they’re all scams.

  • IllinoisEd

    Thanks so much for the help.

  • Rose

    Thank you so much, this was the only article that explained what to do on an iPhone/iPad and that your iPhone/iPad won’t actually get locked-I was crying because I was so scared before I read this

  • Jessica

    Thank you so much for posting this. I was so scared when this came up on my phone. I’m a little worried though because I hit okay to get rid of it but didn’t enter and private information, I clicked out of it right away. Is that going to affect anything?

  • Lynn

    I got this pop up on my iphone a few days ago and have been worried ever since that it’s real and not a scam. I know that the fbi themselves have addressed this ransomware issue. Looking for some more reassurance that I’m not being watched if anyone can give me some.

  • Kim

    If I only had to tap “ok” on one screen, and then when it asked for my Apple ID and money in 24hrs I didn’t give either I just hit cancel and cleared my history in settings..do I need to worry that if I don’t pay them they could download actual child pornography on my phone and end up getting me arrested? Or do they not have that much control over the device?

  • No one has control over your iPhone. The pages you see are simply “tricks” that try to scare you into paying them money for nothing. There are no known malwares or hacks that anyone can do to control an iPhone.

  • You’re welcome!

  • I’m glad I was able to help. Fear is their weapon. Knowledge is yours.

  • Nope, the page is nothing but a scam. It is not a virus or any sort of malicious code. It can not do anything except display a scary message.

  • Read all the comments on this article and read the FBI scam article that I link to in this article, along with all those comments. That should be plenty of reassurance that these things are nothing but scams.

  • Katya Guseva

    I got this today, I followed all the steps you described, but now my internet is not working. Neither on wi-fi, nor on 3g. Safari, mail, or any other app that requires internet is not working. Does anyone know how to fix this?

  • Megan Middleton

    This popped up on my phone, and wanted me to pay as well. I had my card linked to my iTunes account. Is there anyway it could have reached that??

  • Barbara

    This happened to me recently. I was able to get to safari and clear web history. It worked, but upon researching the issue I came across an article on consumeraffairs.com. It said that some of these ransomware scams can actually load illegal photos onto the phone. At that point the user cannot delete them without payment. I haven’t had another one pop up, and I have no unusual photos. Just curious if this is actually possible. I’m obviously not super computer savvy, haha.

  • Dan

    Thank you, your fix worked perfectly! ! So scary when it locks your device.
    Nice job Marcel

  • Thank you!

  • I read that article as well. That particular issue is a malware that can ONLY affect Android phones. It can NOT affect iPhones. I sent an e-mail to the author asking her to update her article to reflect this fact but haven’t heard back yet.

  • No. There is no malicious code running on your iPhone. This scam is only a scary web page.

  • someone

    I just got two stupid pop ups and now I know what to do thank you!

  • someone

    The website was huff post and two scam pop up came up for first one was century link second was for being an apple user.

  • Derek

    I got a message saying its from the FBI and that I have been suspected of watching child porn WHICH I DO NOT, and I scrolled down and panicked and pressed “okay” a couple times. I was able to just exit the page on safari and my iPhone seems normal. All I did was click okay but I didn’t enter any info. Do I have anything to worry about? No police coming to arrest me or any of my files being erased?

  • someone

    This just happened to me, but what I did was that I exited my safari browser and went to setting and reset all my safari data and history and it went away. Would this have the same effect as your instructions or should I still turn off Java?

  • tim

    i cant dowload apps on my iphone now, what do i do?

  • Alex

    Dude the same thing is happening to me helppppppp

  • Alex

    I just tried to sign out and then back in it did t work.

  • The goal is to close out of the annoying scam web page. Once it is closed you are good. So you do not need to turn off the Javascript at this point.

  • If law enforcement wanted to arrest you, they would have done so without warning you through a web page. No law enforcement agency collects fines through web site pop-ups. So, no you do not have anything to worry about. All of these types of web pages are complete and total scams.

  • There are a few reasons why you may not be able to download apps on your iPhone, but I guarantee you that none of them have anything to do with these scam web sites. There are no malware or viruses for iPhones so that isn’t the cause either. I would suggest restarting your iPhone as a starting point, then verifying that you can log in with your iTunes account.

  • If you have not restarted your iPhone, that would be the first step. See my previous response to Tim.

  • Dillon

    Yeah so I was simply browsing the Internet when suddenly a pop-up comes on my screen, it was pretty much a generic iPad push notification except it was exceptionally and noticeably filled to the brim with legal-sounding text. It basically said I was accused of viewing child porn and I owed a fine of “500$” (that’s how it was written). It said if I didn’t comply I’d be arrested and my apple account would be deleted lmao. All I did was exit safari and enter it again before quickly clicking the tabs option before the pop-up appeared. After that all I had to do was close the tab and I was fine.

  • Good job recognizing the scam. Some scams are easier to close out than others so you may not need to go through all the steps I list in this article.

  • Jane

    I’m in the UK (so it went on about the UK police and Scotland Yard, but it said all the same other stuff about paying 100 pounds and how I had been accused of keeping child pornography-which of course I do not have) and I was using the Google app on my iPhone. I suppose that doesn’t make a difference? I managed to close it and then I deleted and redownloaded the Google app. The window is gone so I am guessing I’m good to go?

  • Yes, once the window is gone, you are fine. (Really you are fine anyway, other than being annoyed by the scam). You didn’t even need to delete the Google app.

  • Bob

    Hi, I was on safari and clicked on a website when a message popped up and called its self a
    Police attention message, I did not read the whole message since I excited safari but I am really shaken up and wanted to check that I’m safe?!

  • pølse mand

    Can they get your information if you are on an android phone?

  • I’m pretty certain what you saw was a scam. As this article states, law enforcement does not contact people through web pop-ups.

  • Yes, since Android phones are susceptible to malware. In theory, malware writers could do many nefarious things to Android phones.

  • pølse mand

    How do i get rid of it?

  • Well, since I don’t know what “it” is, it’s hard to advise. I would refer you to a general guide for removing Android malware:

    http://www.androidcentral.com/help-my-android-has-malware

  • pølse mand

    I suspect its malware. But i read somewhere that it would go away if i reset my phone to a factory version. Is it true?

  • Dana Whiddon

    So, I didn’t know this was a scam. Not the FBI one, just stating that my security was breeched. About a month ago the message popped up and I paid them $149 and gave them access to my computer!! What do I do now?!!!

  • Dana Whiddon

    this was on my mac laptop

  • Relatively speaking, $149 is quite cheap compared to what some people have been scammed with. Assuming you paid with a credit card, I would contact them and have the charges reversed. I would also have a trusted computer professional review your Mac to make sure that all is well. That being said, on virtually every Mac I’ve ever assessed after someone has given the scammers access, there usually isn’t anything malicious left over. Good luck and let me know if you need any further help.

  • Dana Whiddon

    Thanks so much for your reply. I called apple directly and they ran a malware bytes program, there were 5 items that we deleted. Other than that they said everything should be fine. Good suggestion, I will try to reverse the charges with my bank.

  • You’re welcome! Hopefully you’ll get your money back. I would use the call to Apple and the fact they removed 5 items as some evidence with your credit card company that the scammers weren’t real security/support professionals. Depending on what Apple removed, they may have even put it there themselves. Good luck!

  • Otis F

    That is not a true statement. A scam popup has blocked my Google search app on my IPhone. I can no longer use Google search engine on my iPhone.

  • rachael parlapiano

    I was on Facebook and I clicked on a video that brought me to another page. Then Apple iOS came up and said there was a virus detected. So I scanned my phone and then it said there was eight viruses. It told me to download an app from the App Store to get rid of it. So I did and now I’m wondering if my phone is infected with something.

  • I assure you that there are no known malwares or hacks on an iPhone that could block you from searching. The problem is either coincidental or the pop-up needs to be shut down as explained in this article.

  • Eamonn Donohoe

    I just got a similar message (though it said I was in London and not where I actually live). I didn’t properly read the mesage at first and clicked ok. It brought me to a page asking to enter a code to confirm a $100 payment, it said that either my apple account or iphone (can’t remember which) would be locked in 24 hours I i don’t pay.. I was panicking now and clicked cancel, which didn’t work so clicked OK without entering a code.

    Is it possible that I have somehow authorised them to take the moment from my itunes account?

  • Otis F

    You are correct. The popup scam is gone. IPhone is now ok. Thankls. Otis F.

  • Ilinca Irimia

    I’m a bit scared this happened to me today, I was casually watching vine on youtube when all of a sudden I got redirected to a porn website and a POLICE ATTENTION pop up came on my screen, I was accused of watching child porn which I do not and it said pay 100 pounds or face 5-8 years in prison, it also gave me my real location, I closed the window and all of my safari history and restarted my phone, I followed the steps you gave above but I just wanted to make sure I’m all clear and what happened to me was nothing but a scam.

  • Which app was it? Regardless, there are no known malwares for iOS. I’m sure you’re probably fine.

  • Since you didn’t enter a password, there’s no way anyone has hacked into your iTunes account. Plus no company threatens to take away access like that. I’m sure you’re fine.

  • Since you talk about “pounds” I assume you’re in England. I certainly know almost nothing about UK law enforcement, but I’m pretty certain they do not make accusations about jail time over a web page pop-up. So I’m pretty sure you are fine.

  • Daniel

    Hi Marcel, I have read your comments below and they seem to be a great help although this happened to me (police attention stop) based in London.. But was in google chrome for iOS 9 not safari and I can’t find information on how to get rid of it for the chrome app..

  • I did a real quick search and could not find any way to turn off Javascript in Chrome for iOS. So perhaps you should try force closing Chrome and see if that helps. Let me know if that works for you.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201330

  • Eamonn Donohoe

    Thanks for the reply Marcel. You were right, the 24 hour notice period passed without my phone shutting down or money being taken from me.

  • Dionjones

    Just got this on my Android phone! Accused me of watching child porn and I had to pay 300 with my PayPal account. It told me to type “250$ my PayPal card” I was so scared I typed it. Am I screwed?

  • I don’t know for sure what information you gave them, but if you actually typed in a credit card number, then you should probably have that account number changed.

  • Dubraska Robles

    Thank you! I was scared I had an actual virus. I hung up as soon as they mentioned $120 off my credit card.

  • Lisa Utz

    Thank you, Marcel, for the info you provide here and the fears you assuage as a result. You are always so patient in your explanations even though you’ve answered the question being asked many times already further up in the thread. You are obviously a kind person. The vast majority of us who use smart phones aren’t savvy enough to know what harm is and isn’t possible to do to us by scammers. We do know, however, that some really bad stuff has happened to folks via technology and the thought that we’re next in line triggers the panic button. So again, thank you for what you do. My question is, if the “Block pop ups” feature is on how are these stupid things getting through? I’ve been getting “Congratulations! You’re our iPhone 6 winner of the day!” lately three or four times a day. Yeah, right. I also get various other pop ups occasionally that drive me nuts. Seems the “blocker” is relatively useless. Safe assumption?

  • Carrie

    I got a message that looked like the picture above that you included(where it said “a possible virus was found on your phone…they can take personal info etc…please call…”),on the app Wattpad,is it still a scam because it appeared on the app not safari?

  • Emmett

    Marcel brown, you truly are a saint. Only problem is that it’s 2 in the morning and I don’t know how I’ll ever get to sleep after this

  • JNel

    I was surfing the Web and clicked on a link and all of a sudden a pop up comes up, I didn’t read it I just hit cancel, then it popped up again, I hit cancel, then it popped up again, all while I was trying to get the heck out of there finally I read some and it said something about child pornography, I was like holy crap, it said hit ok to go away from this site, so I did, it’s freaking me out, I was in no way looking for that, what should I do? Is it a scam you think? They aren’t gonna come arrest me for that crap are they? Even if your innocent it still makes people judge when something like that happens

  • JNel

    I have an android phone

  • JNel

    I have an android and got that child porn thing, do you think it’s possible it loaded those photos to my phone, if so how can I get rid of them? I have no photos in my gallant or anything, are they put somewhere else? Thanks, scary stuff!! I hate it, people just out to ruin peoples lives

  • I’m glad you recognized the scam.

  • I’ve never used Wattled, but I’m pretty sure the message is still a scam.

  • My apologies this article was so eye-opening!

  • Even on an Android phone, the messages are still scams. I’m certain law enforcement is not targeting you through web pop-ups. However, with an Android phone you are susceptible to malware. So you need to be careful that you do not have some sort of malware. And I hate to be alarming, but I have read about ransomware scams that actually do put child porn on your Android phone. I don’t think this is what happened to your phone based on your description, but I just want to make you aware of it.

    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/scam-alert-new-ransomware-puts-child-pornography-on-victims-smartphones-010615.html

  • First, thank you for your kind words. Second, I think the problem is that there is a distinction between an actual “pop-up” page and a “message” from a web page. The pop-up blocker is probably doing its job and blocking actual pop-ups. But most of these scams utilize “messages” that aren’t blocked by the pop-up blocker.

    On the Mac OS version of Safari, Apple has given us an option to block further messages from a web page after the first message. I wonder why they haven’t given us the same option on iOS devices yet.

  • I would probably run some anti-malware software such as Malware Bytes for Android

    https://www.malwarebytes.org/mobile/

  • JNel

    I ran the malware thing, none were found, that’s a relief, I am going back to an iphone when my contracts up, seems more secure, would you agree? This gave me a scare that’s for sure, thanks for your help!!

  • Vipérine Doc

    Forcing Chrome to close did not help me. Chrome reloads the pages that were open before, so the pop-up just appeared again. I turned off wifi and it still appeared. 🙁 I’m stumped!

  • Philippa Wells

    Perfect! Panic over

  • Certainly the iPhone is more secure than the Android platform. On a side note, since you say you will be going back to the iPhone, I’m curious of a couple of questions.

    1) What was your last iPhone?
    2) When did you switch to an Android?
    3) Why did you switch and to which Android phone?
    4) What was your overall impression of the Android platform vs the iPhone platform? Did you find certain things better on one platform vs another?
    5) Besides the security issue we just discussed, are there other reasons you are switching back to the iPhone?

    Thanks!

  • JNel

    IPhone 4, switched just last year, just switched to try some thing nee, iphones may go from a 4 to a 5 to a 6 but there all basically the same it seems, I like the android platform, it sucks because you have to have all these things to clean your phone so it runs faster and anti virus and if I remember right, I didn’t have to do that with iphone, another thing that sucks is text messaging, if you do a group message more often than not from a person with an iPhone, you won’t get messages from them, has to do with the imessage thing I think, which in my opinion is complete bull crap that they do that. So the messaging and the security are the main reasons, with all this I still really like the galaxy 5 I have, seems to lag quite a bit now, runs a tad slow, might be because I have music on it, do you know a great way to speed it up? Why do you ask all these questions? I am more than happy to answer any questions for ya!!

  • As a technology consultant, I’m curious about the reasoning behind people’s technology purchase decisions. The trend of some people switching to Android and then back to the iPhone is especially interesting to me. Thanks for the info!

  • Regarding your group message issue, if your phone number is still associated with an iCloud account, then other people’s iPhones might be trying to send you iMessages instead of SMS text messages. You should deregister your phone number at this site:

    https://selfsolve.apple.com/deregister-imessage

    There are many reasons your Galaxy could be running slow, but I found one that might be a quick fix:

    http://www.solvemix.com/index.php/android-smartphones/341-samsung-galaxy-s5-android-lollipop-5-0-very-slow-after-update-solution

  • JNel

    I tried the imessage thing, my phone number was already off it, it just happens in group messages, it’s weird, like the group I do it with,.if they turn there imessage off, then they don’t get texts from other iphones, so they turn it back on then they can’t group message me again, kinda sucks

  • Alva Thomas

    You install popup blocker.Some popup started annoying us through annoying ads ,misleading popups, Misleading message and started tracking your history.Then you must take steps against these activities.My suggestion is you should use some best popup blockers.Here i am suggesting you some popup blockers by using this you will be safe from unwanted popups.you can use ablockplus.org.Or you can search online you will find lot of popup blockers.

  • That is really strange. I’m not sure why this is for you. It would be something I’d need to research further.

  • Randy

    So I fell for it. Gave them full access to my phone. They charged me 29.95 to my credit card, supposedly ‘removed’ the problem and had me delete the Google app and clear the data on Safari. My only concern now is any spyware left behind and how to identify and delete it. Suggestions?

  • Well, if you have an iPhone, I’m not sure how you could have given them any sort of access. It sounds to me like they did nothing and simply claimed to have “removed” the problem. Probably by having you clear the Safari data they cleared out their message, making it seem like the problem was fixed. I’m not sure why they had you delete the Google app, except to make it seem like you did you did something useful.

    At least you were only charged $29.95. Still, I would try to get those charges reversed.

  • Randy

    They asked for the IMEI Number, which I gave them, they then told me how long I have had the phone and it matched. I assumed the IMEI number gave them some type of access.

  • The IMEI number won’t give anyone access, but they can use it to look up information about your phone (publicly accessible web sites have this info). It makes them look credible, but it is just smoke and mirrors.

  • Randy

    Thanks you for taking the time to address my concerns. Lesson learned!

  • Cabbiedon

    I would like to make sure I’m understanding this right I have an iPhone 6 and it’s completely updated and everything- when I went on YouTube earlier to listen to a song there was an add and it gave me a pop-up saying that the fbi was accusing me of watching child porn and if I didn’t pay $500 dollars in 24 hours all of my information would be erased so I panicked and clicked ok and it asked for my info I didn’t give it and went to my home screen and eventually got the page deleted from the previous comments I should b fine but I’d like to make sure

  • There are no known instances of the FBI using web messages, so you are almost certainly fine.

  • Megan

    I got this exact pop-up. I mistakenly called the number. They wanted to charge me $79.95 to fix the problem. I knew that was completely ridiculous so I told them I would take my phone to the apple store. The man on the other end was very smart. He told me Apple would tell me the same and it will take 4-5 days to fix the problem and he could just fix it right now. I told him no and hung up. My only concern now is that they will have access to any information saved on my phone? Will they be able to see any credit card information I have saved on my phone? I feel so dumb for falling for it.

  • Cathy.neeson@gmail.com

    I just got a pop up on my IPhone congratulating me on being selected as a beta tester for the iPhone 7 (ha!), and asking me press OK to receive a free iPhone. There was no number to call, but I’m assuming this is some kind of scam and pressing ok would have taken me to site where my Apple ID or other info would have been required to claim my free “prize”. Your post was reassuring in that I don’t think my phone has malware or is infected by a virus – is that right? The pop up did name my network which was weird, but from your other posts below I’m assuming that the script can also query the phone’s network and use it in the message?
    Great article!

  • Monkey

    Thank you for this I got very scared because this looks like any old notification that apple would send to you so I got very confused this helped solve it thank very much

  • Coop

    Thank you for replying to everyone, you’re a huge help! You’re the only person I found helpful while searching for an answer to this scam.

  • There is no way to remotely access an iPhone, especially considering all you did was call them. You should be fine.

  • Thank you! Yes, it is almost certainly a scam. Although this sounds more like a simple web pop-up “ad” rather than what I describe in this article. However, you are correct in that it is not a malware or virus, as there are no known malwares for Apple iOS devices. Yes, any web page can simply query public databases to find out information about your IP address, such as location or who your Internet provider/network is, so that is just smoke and mirrors trying to scare you. Good job in recognizing the scam and thanks again!

  • You’re welcome!

  • You’re very welcome! I enjoy helping people, especially when it comes to protecting them from technology scammers.

  • Donna

    I was just on my Samsung phone and then a porn add poped up and the message asking me to pay £100 pine came up and won’t go away I can’t get on the Internet at all. Iv deleted my Google browser and can get on the Internet through chrome. Is their anyway to get rid of this I was only looking up smoothie recepies lol now I’m scared to use my phone

  • Jimmy2claws

    Yeah sure you where trying to find smoothie recepies. Sure it wasn’t More like ass smoothies Ohh and its a scam don’t fall for that crap

  • Tonybutternick

    I’ve seen that one. What law enforcement agency is going to ask you to buy a credit card to pay a 500 dollar fine for watching child porn. Nah if you got child porn you doors coming down. I think my crossdressing land lord has child porn but I’ve been very hesitant to report cuz I may be wrong which Im sure I’m not. And their door will get kicked in. And since I live in the basement appartment. I’d rather not hve the police here. Although if he or his wife pisses me off I won’t hesitate.

  • Austin

    I almost had a heart attack I prayed to God I threw up a little even I’m so glad it was just a scam I looked out my window to see if anyone was gonna come in my driveway I’m so relived now

  • Ciaran

    I have tried what you suggest a number of times now but the message keeps popping up regardless. It is very frustrating as I can’t find any other suggests than turn off JavaScript clear browser history etc but none of them are working. Any other ideas?

  • Chris

    Ok so I got this last night on my iPod touch (5th gen) after hitting a video that took me to another site (which turned out to be a porn ad site). This FBI thing popped ups showing my IP address and location and such. I was shocked when it said this site is
    banned or old videos as well as that I was accused of watching child porn
    (never in my life would I do a thing like that) and also said I either had 24
    to 48 hours to pay a $500 fee.

    Anyway in my shock I just clicked the ok’s or cancel’s to see if it would go away (I don’t think it asked for me to sign into my Apple iTunes account). After a bit it just sat there on the page. Still freaking out I somehow got my lower pages to pop up and chose my tabs option. I then hit ‘x’ out of the pages (the FBI ad and the video I was watching from Youtube). I then surfed the web for a bit to find anything on what exactly the FBI thing was. I then found a youtube video that just explained to go to my settings and then deleted cookies and history.

    After doing this multiple times out of sheer panic and worry is my iPod ok? I even turned off Java and turned it back on after deleting cookies and history (several
    times after reopening Safari after initial closeing of the ad and first delete
    of cookies and history).

    So far my iPod still works like nothing has happened. I’m still
    a bit worried though.

  • The message will usually pop up once more after you’ve turned off JavaScript. Click OK once more to be sure. Are you using Safari?

  • Yes, the FBI warning is a scam. And your iPod Touch can not get a malware. You can rest easy.

  • Jake

    Hello I have had the FBI virus pop up on my iPhone two tomrs now on the same website in the same week should i be concerned

  • First, it is not a virus. It is just a web page trying to scam you. Re-read the article and understand you have nothing to worry about.

  • jacob

    ive seen on google images pictures of this FBI page coming up mine wasn’t like that. what concerns me most it was some apple dock thing that came up that looked real and it had where i live an what i think is an ip address. is this just another form of this FBI page thing everyone is talking about. its accusing me of watching child pornography, should i be scared. i didnt really read it properly because i was so scared just trying to get out of it so sorry its not very specific

  • This is just a scam. If the FBI thought you had child porn, they would have probably already raided your house and taken your computer. So relax and move on.

  • Jordyn

    I have seen this before on my android it messed up my phone completely, like to the point that once I got it fixed I would barely ever use it. Well I switched back to Apple cause at one point in time Apple devices were never affect able. Now I just got the same thing on my iPad but not as bad. I know everyone is calling it malware, but it is actually ransomware.

  • Technically, it is not ransomware as there is not actually any malicious code running on the iOS devices. Yes, the scam operates similar to how some ransomwares operate. However, a true ransomware actually does things to your device (like encrypting your data) that you must pay a ransom in order to undo. If you “clean” a ransomware without paying the ransom, your data could be lost forever. In the scams that affect iOS devices, just closing out the web page is enough to get rid of it with no detrimental effects.

  • Lauren Maricle

    I clicked on a link and got a pop up saying to call a number for iOS support; otherwise, this virus would get access to banking information, photos, etc. The pop up wouldn’t go away and I gave into the fear. I stupidly called the number and gave them permission to access my computer. I got scared and made the mistake of doing it without thinking. My gut told me to end access and hang up after 3-4 minutes. Can they still grab things from my computer after I ended access and they never “completed” anything on the call. If I did do damage by giving them access, what can I do to fix this? I deleted the google app and did the Safari Javascript thing just in case. What is my risk? I never gave them money.

  • Did you get this pop-up on your iPhone or your computer? When you gave them permission to access your “computer”, was it your iPhone or another computer (and if so, what kind of computer)?

  • Lauren Maricle

    The pop up was on my iPhone 6. They told me to connect my iPhone to my computer. My computer is Apple too.

  • Ah, interesting technique the scammers are now using! Did they actually control your Mac? If so, it sounds like you were watching them the whole time and disconnected them after a few minutes. What connection system were they using? Likely they couldn’t actually do anything and you are likely fine. Since you are on a Mac, there’s really not a whole lot they can do to install anything malicious, especially in such a short time frame. So you are probably fine. That being said, it probably wouldn’t hurt to have your Mac checked out to be sure, but I would bet you are fine.

  • Lauren Maricle

    I could see them. I don’t remember the system because it was so quick and when they opened iTunes, I knew something was off and disconnected within 30 seconds. They transferred me to a “Senior Specialist” right before that and I questioned him about why there were no Apple prompts when I called because after the panic…logic set in. He opened iTunes and I immediately disconnected. Could they have access to my phone? Also, what is their main intention? To get banking info, passwords? They never got the chance to detect a “problem” or ask me for money.

  • Lauren Maricle

    I just remembered the system they used was blue with a S in the middle. I think the S was white.

  • Usually their goal is to show you things in an effort to convince you that you have a virus. Then they will try to claim they can fix everything for some sort of fee and of course get your credit card number. Usually they don’t try to get banking info and passwords because that would be fairly obvious what they were doing when you are watching them control your computer.

  • Was it Skype? Or maybe LogMeIn Rescue (https://www.logmeinrescue.com)

  • Lauren Maricle

    Ok, that makes me feel better. Clicked the link and it was a 100% logmein rescue. Clearly it wasn’t a S. But, I got the colors right. 😊 Thank you for being so helpful! Very much appreciated. Put my mind at ease.

  • Colleen Fellers

    I did what you said about the virus pop-up and turned off my javascript. I have been pressing the okay for button for a good two minutes. Is there something else I can do to exit out of the window?

  • I would verify that you followed the steps precisely and try again. Given that, you may need to “shut down” the app by pressing the home button twice and swiping it up. Let me know if either of those helps.

  • Emma

    See, the site I visit a lot to read was hijacked by this scam. It can’t hurt my phone, and I can easily get rid of the alert, but I want to know how I can get it to stop popping up again so I can continue to read on that site in peace. After all, Google and YouTube are unaffected due to their great protection, but the site I visit is a nonprofit sort of thing, put together by someone other than a big company. So far, all I’ve learned is how to disable the alert, which I figured out on my own.. I can probably guess the website itself would have to fix the issue, but if there’s a way I can do so myself, I’d love to know. My phone is an iPhone 5c, and sadly most removal articles I find deal with Android. Any advice?

  • Pic Gamer

    Hello are you sure it’s fake. I was on Target and I freaked out. I need to make sure, I’m freaking out right now, I DONT WATCH PORN. Please I am sweating bullets right, I’m on a tight budget for the holidays

  • While I can’t be 100% certain, there are no known instances of law enforcement using web pop-ups to impose fines on people.

  • Tim ‘Meleek Jones’ Garner

    Put your phone in airplane mode open safari close out all the windows come out of airplane mode and your fixed

  • Anna

    Okay so I’ve followed your instruction but it doesn’t seem to go away and the warning says it has access to my photos? Could this be true because I’m freaking out right now. Help?

  • I would verify that you are following the instructions precisely and try again. When you say “it” has access to your photos, what exactly is “it” and what is the complete warning? If it is a scam, they do not have access to anything on your phone it all.

  • Riley

    i had this message while i was looking for a gaming wheel!! Then later in the night telstra rang us and said that there was a virus on our system…… i have done a bit of reading and found out that the telstra thing could also be a scam but i cant help but think that the two might be related…. Any advice?

  • jc

    i got a message saying that my iphone detected 2 virus and need to install a vpn from the apple app store. do i need to install it or not?

  • There are many scams going around. It is not unlikely that it is simply coincidence that you got the scam message and later got a phone scam call as well. I don’t know if Telstra monitors their network for viruses (some ISPs do try to clamp down on malware that sends out spam and such). But if your home network doesn’t have any Windows machines, then I would almost certainly say the phone call was a scam.

  • There are no known viruses that can infect iPhones, iPads, or the iPod Touch. So no, you do not need to install anything. This is certainly a scam.

  • Bob

    Will I go to jail I am so scared

  • If law enforcement wanted you, you’d already be in jail.

  • Will

    I got one, it said pay within 24 hours and stuff, I. Still scared, I did nothing,I’m clicked a random link, it sent me to this disgusting website then it popped up with this police thing for watching “Child pornography” which I wasn’t. I’m on an iPad and it said that I needed to pay with PayPal. Was this just a scam? Because I think police would have just gone straight to my house instead of a pop up on my iPad. And I couldn’t close it, took me a while to do so.

  • You are correct, the police would simply arrest you, not try to fine you through a web pop-up ad. Yes, the scammers try to make it as hard as possible for you to bypass it in order to increase the fear factor.

  • Claire

    Hi I just got this pop up on my iPad air and thought it asked for my Apple ID ( I can’t remember ) but I put it in in such a panick then it keep saying the same thing and something g about paying at a pay point or other places but I can’t remember now . Iv somehow managed to get rid of it but will it of taken any money ? I’m so scared it’s my husbands card my apple id is linked to 😟

  • If you entered your password, then change it ASAP! This sounds like a phishing scam where they want to capture the username and password. If you can change the password before anything nefarious happens, then you are probably in good shape, but do it right away!

  • Valerie Cocke

    I got this same pop up warning above when I was trying to listen to music. I too panicked and called them number. I gave the man my apple ID but not my password. He told me my phone had a virus and it was going to cost me $99.99 and that he needed me to download spyware on my phone? I questioned him on it and he got defensive!! I told I would call my carrier and if I needed I would call back. He relied you’ll have to. I called ATT and had it off my phone in less than 3 minutes. Now my question is what can he do with my Apple ID?

  • Ciaran

    I have now tried what you suggest maybe 20 times and I still have this problem. yes I am using Safari. This is really frustrating. It only happens on two web pages (Slamonline.com and Espn.com/nba), but they are relatively legit sites so I can’t believe that it is their fault. I am close to giving up this function on my phone as nothing comes close to working. Have you any other suggestions?

  • Claire

    Hi I’m having trouble changing my pass word as I can’t rem my info and oc noticed the email iv put down is wrong and it says it’s sent me a email to re set my questions 😭. What does this mean ? Will they of been able to get money from my husbands card that is linked to Apple ?

  • You’re in a bit of a bind if you have the wrong e-mail address listed in your Apple ID and you can’t remember your password. It may be that the scammers have changed your password and possibly the e-mail address associated with that account. However, if they have not in fact done anything with your account, then if you can’t remember your password, then you must have not given them the correct password and they won’t be able to do anything with that account anyway.

    Regardless, you may need to contact Apple directly for more help. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201354

  • Without the password, not all that much, unless you have an easy to guess password.

  • It is strange that you would be getting a problem like this on legit sites, so there may be something else going on that is outside the scope of what this article is about. What exactly is the message that you are getting?

  • Ciaran

    It says

    ‘http://xxxxxxxxx

    Congratulations Android User

    The Iphone 6S is COMING!

    Your android device has been randomly selected as one of the first customers for a chance to get the iPhone 6S

    Press OK to participate and get exclusive rewards’

    I also get one that tell me I have been selected to be a tester for the new iPhone 7 that identofies my network provider. I clicked OK originally and answered some of the questions but I never divulged anything important. Oh and I don’t have an Android either. I am using an iPhone 6 Plus and have had the same problem on an Ipad my wife is using (Only every time she access’ the Guardian’s website). It is very frustrating. On my iPhone I downloaded Chrome and had the exact same thing happen when I visited the aforementioned sites? Any ideas? I’ll dance at your wedding if you can help me 😉

  • Does this issue happen if the devices are on a network away from your home network? I’m starting to wonder if your router has a hijacked DNS setting.

  • Oh and I’ve been married for 20 years so you’ll need to dance at another event! Do I look that young?

  • Taylor Thompson

    Is there a way to get rid of it on chrome?

  • Ciaran

    Well I dance at you next anniversary then 😉

  • Ciaran

    It hapens when I am on 4g when my wifi is off so does that rule it out? However I did switch over to a new internet provider recently?

  • Luis

    So I got the FBI pop up two days ago just wondering if their is any malware that could have gotten on my iPhone??

  • Jeanne E. Lewin

    Scam page blocked Safari on ISO devices. Usual threats re virus, if you fail to call this toll free number you’ll lose data, risk credit cards info, yadda-yadda. Called the number on my land line, a barely intelligable voice with accent from India answered. I screamed, “SCAM verified!” Disconnected phone at my end. DELETED message by Returning to iPhone, typed in bogus data (Apple ID, phone number, zip code, etc.) and promply received a “verification failed” warning. Lastly, typed in a URL address (any known internet address) in the browser; Safari opened the site indicated and the pesty Safari scam warning message had disappeared.

  • I’ve searched this every way I can think of and I can’t find a way to turn off Javascript in Chrome. So there may be another way to close off the windows, but I need a way to test it and I haven’t stumbled upon any scam sites lately.

  • There is no malware that exists for an iPhone, so no, there is not any malware on your iPhone.

  • Unfortunately, there’s probably not a whole lot you can do besides contact the site you are visiting and inform them they are hacked.

  • Very, very strange. I would perhaps try closing out all web pages that are open in Safari, then going into the Settings app, tap on Safari, then tap on Clear History and Website Data. See if that helps anything at all.

  • Maybe we should all start entering bogus data into the scammer’s sites!

  • Hayden

    I got this message 2 times and in only 10. I got scared , is there a reason 🙁

  • Hayden

    I was going to tell my mum and dad but they would believe that I do watch it, I only found out what it was not long ago

  • Claire

    I was searching for quizzes on “am I bisexual” and so I clicked on the first result and it turned out to be a porn site and I got the pop up and now I’m really scared, I’m only 15 help?

  • The reason is that you ran across a scam page somehow. Get it closed up and you have nothing to worry about.

  • Assuming you are on an iPhone or iPad, follow the instructions in this article and see if that helps.

  • Julie_MDE

    Is it real if it tells you your address and it’s right? I’m so scared please help. I was accused of watching child porn and I didn’t think I was… But it said my address. I’m soooo scared

  • Mack

    Don’t. All of those are scams. You can find an address pretty easy, just follow those instructions, get rid of it, and you’ll be fine.

  • Hayden

    Thank you so much 🙂

  • Claire

    Is there anyway a dodgy website could download things onto my ipad mini without me knowing?

  • If law enforcement thinks you are watching child porn, they will come through the front door, not give you warnings through web sites.

  • Assuming you have not “jailbroken” your iPad, then the answer is a simple no. There are no known ways for malicious code to install itself onto your iPad without you knowing it.

  • Claire

    Ok thank you for all the help

  • Claire

    One more question, can they download any pictures or videos onto my iPad or any codes for these things?

  • Daniele Shreve

    I found this to be very helpful! I got the whole FBI child pornagraphy. Pop up. I about had a heart attack. One minute I was reading the next minute it popped up. I started to have a mental breakdown. Thinking that I was gonna get in trouble and gonna go to jail. Your post are very reassuring!

  • Pim

    I followed the instructions but the pop ups are still coming up☹️ But it’s about winning an iPhone and it STILL keeps coming up
    PLEASE HELP😕

  • Perhaps the pop-ups are being generated by a site you are visiting? Try closing all the open browser windows you have and then visit a site like google.com. See if that makes it go away.

  • Thank you for the kind words!

  • Daniele Shreve

    Your welcome. Your post helped me a lot!

  • rocky

    did anybody see this type of msg and can tell me what happened when you clicked OK and if its a scam or not cause im panicking

  • john

    I was watching poen and a video started downloadingnand it said i was introubke for downloading child porn and it had my address location of stores near me and asked me to pay 295$ and i reset my phone it was all gone

  • genel

    I got a message from the FBI saying I need to pay $200 in the pay pal (I don’t have one) cause a pop up of porn and been downloaded when I never pressed it.
    I have the Android but i just been pressing okay and a button that said don’t allow any more tabs and more kept coming. Should I be worried? 😯😣😦

  • Emma

    Hi, I got a message saying that I had done something illegal (I had clicked on some poem websites) and can’t remember exactly but I think it was child porn I was accused of, I’ve been scared out my mind and I CAN’T tell my parents oh yeah I’ve been watching porn I’m only a 15 year old girl. It told me my apple account would be blocked for 24 hours (but it seems to be working) and that I have to pay £100 but I clicked cancel and nothing has happened since (it’s been 4 hours). Do you think everything will be fine?!
    P.s I was on that safe browsing thing if that makes a difference and once I clicked off the website I went back to normal browsing, do I do anything else?

  • Emma

    *porn

  • Emma

    I haven’t been watching porn it just popped up by accident

  • Emma

    I think it also said something about illegally downloading stuff

  • Josh

    That’s fake cuz I got that also then I realized it was a scam cuz it asked for PayPal plus, i don’t watch child porn either, your fine..

  • Guest

    Yeah, I got the exact same one(for Canada) and I was freaking out. Don’t worry about it

  • Even in Great Britain this is still a scam!

  • Playing a video is different than “downloading” to a device. It is fairly easy to load a video onto a scam page so it plays when people load the site. It is also fairly easy to look up geolocation information on an IP address, which looks scary but it is not. Most of the time, an IP geolocation lookup can only get as close to the general area where your Internet provider is located. So yes, this is a scam too.

  • They can not force files to be downloaded to your iPhone or iPad, although they can display pictures or video through a web page of course. Unless you intentionally save any pictures or videos, they should not be saved on your iPad.

  • You should not be worried that the FBI is after you. This is a scam. However, you should be somewhat concerned that your Android phone could pick up a malware. Most likely this is not a malware, but Android-based phones are not immune to malware so you do need to be a little wary.

  • Since this is a scam, you have nothing to worry about. If the page is gone then it should not normally come back unless you revisit the scam page again.

  • lrgz

    I got a pop-up when watching porn from the city I live in saying I was deemed for watch child pornography between certain ages … It listed my local city and ip

  • richardD54

    Thank you this worked a treat. I have an iPad and had one a year ago that was similar that told me the RCMP were on to my activity (clicked on a shopping site) and that I could get out of it by paying a fine thru Paypal. Didn’t believe it then; it just looked bogus. Managed to get out just by taping the ok tab a number of times. This one was a bit peskier but your method worked a treat. Thanks

  • Shirley

    OHMYGOSH AHHH I HAVE BEEN WORRIED AF>>> WHEW I GOT RID OF IT I SOUND LIKE A BITCH RIGHT NOW BUT WHATEVER :3

  • Shirley

    fbi…
    500 dollars….
    [_-__-_]

  • Wheeler

    I got accused it listed my ip and where I live for child porn!Is this real?It said pay 100$.looked very convincing.please help!

  • Tanya Hurley

    I have this problem in downloads app and it still won’t go away HELP

  • Tanya Hurley

    Help it won’t go away in app “downloads”

  • Tanya Hurley

    Help won’t go away

  • Tanya Hurley

    My problem is the above problems is in “downloads” app
    This solution don’t work
    HELP HELP HELP PLEEESAE

  • Holly Zuckerman

    Thank you so much for this! It helped me completely. I got some sort of pop-up las night while online on my Galaxy S5 phone. I didn’t pay super close attention to all that it stated because it was scary & I was trying to get rid of it.

    But the pop-up stated that I was viewing child porn (wasn’t) & I was accused of downloading child porn. I did see that something tried to download on my phone, but when I checked, there wasn’t anything. Pop-up also stated something about pating plenty of money through iTunes. I knew this was probably a scam, but didn’t know how to get the pop-up to go away until reading this article, which I saw today. I was so afraid before that I would no longer be able to use the internet on my phone.

  • Jane

    I have a pop up that is blocking me from Safari on my iPad mini. It reads: congratulations iPad user! You are selected by Google to be among the first few persons to win an Apple Watch or other Google prizes! This free gift is exclusively only for loyal Apple users in United+States. Please confirm that you are the owner of this iPad by clicking OK.

    Please help me get rid of this. Thank you.

  • WearingTurbons101

    I was looking on a article reading website and it brought be to a page with a pop up about an FBI Warning saying I needed to pay $100. I panicked and kept pressing okay and it just went away and I closed the tab. I just kept pressing okay because I panicked. I didn’t put in any of information. The pop up is gone and after I pressed okay multiple times I never saw it again and my iPad is working fine now. My question is since I kept pressing okay did it charge any thing? Like where would it take money from anyways right? I’m just paranoid because it went away after I clicked okay three times and I don’t remember what I clicked okay too. I know it’s a scam but I’m thinking I’m not stuck because I kept pressing okay and went away so easily, is that because it took money from an account? Should I be fine, did it take any money? Plus did they take my email and Facebook information? I can’t sleep. Thank you!!

  • ifapotatohadaface

    I got the same one today, it stated my country and state, it freaked me the heck out and told me I was being recorded. Glad its just a scam. I would have had a heart attack if the fbi came storming in because of porn that I didn’t watch. Also the Itunes gift card thing kind of tipped me off XD

  • Hal

    this helped so much thank you a thousand times!! holy crap i thought my ohine was ruined or had a virus or i would have to delete safari app and lose all my bookmarks! luckily i decided to look up the “apple support” number and the “area code” turned out to be one of those toll free ones so i knew immediately it was all bull. i finally found this page and it worked and my phone and internet seem totally normal, so thanks again, brilliant job

  • Hal

    my phone*

  • Helper

    Wheeler these are scams, if you thought this was the police they wouldn’t hesitate to knock down your door and take your jail and probably register you as a sex offender but this is fake and people do this to get money from the public with these scams. There’re more common to pop up if you were watching porn but can occur randomly sometimes when going on a page without a certificate or a page that hasn’t been used in a while.

  • Yufei Jing

    so all my personal stuff like photos, videos and adress are in fact not comprosed by the hacker/scammer? i just want to make sure so im sure that nothing will happen to me or my family…
    also, i managed to remove it by a different way by deleting the history and cookies inside safari settings, will anything else strange happen to my device after i removed it? like a strange txt message or email? pls no… i couldnt sleep at all last night😭😭😭 can the scammer actually track what websites i go on to or what i do on my phone?

  • Zapper

    This happened to me but it said I was watching child porn but I wasn’t and it knew where I lived is that a bad thing and if so what do I do because I never put my address on my iPad

  • You’re welcome!

  • Follow the steps in this article and let me know if that helps.

  • There is no way a web pop-up could take any information from you by just clicking an OK prompt. Sleep easy!

  • These are all scams, not actual malicious activity. So they can not be tracking your websites or anything like that. You are fine, so you can relax and get some sleep!

  • It is easy for a web page to look up your approximate location based on IP address. It is a common way to scare people into thinking they are being watched or tracked. But it is just smoke and mirrors. Don’t worry.

  • Follow the instructions in this article and that should help you. I’m not sure what you mean by it is in your “downloads app”.

  • Paul

    Like in a recent comment by Derek.. Happened to me but HOW DID IT KNOW WHAT STATE AND COUNTRY I LIVED IN? WILL THIS GO TO SOME DATABASE.
    God I am awful frightened.. help

  • It is very simple to code a web page to determine your approximate location based on your IP address. Your Internet provider provides this information to various public databases. Don’t worry, it is all smoke and mirrors designed to frighten you.

    For example, this web site will tell you all about your IP address: https://www.iplocation.net

  • Justme .

    lol I got the same reaction when I saw it.I was like wtf?

  • Susie Cordia

    Thank you so much for this I would never have sorted it out myself! Does anyone know how it got onto my iPad in the first place to prevent it happening again?

  • andrew

    ive just got a pop up saying i need to pay £100 for watching child porn wich believe me ive not n never would but still abit worried it said im been crimanlly investigated n if i dont pay in 24hr everything on my phone will be deleted. Ive got a fiancee n children of my own im really worried can anyone help n tell me whats goin on also it had my location wrong it says im about 5or6 miles fron were i actually am…im scared the police come to my house n im in the uk

  • Mary Wanjiru

    So what did you do about it?

  • Susan

    Every time I open a specific page I get a pop up that I won a new iPhone. I only get it when I open that page. Is there any way to stop it?

  • Krenz Pacheco

    I did that thing u told me to do but I did it in a different order like I closed the website first and then did the java script is that bad or am I ok now?

  • Krenz Pacheco

    I did what it told me to do but how I did it was I deleted the page and then I did the whole Java script thing am I good now?

  • Krenz Pacheco

    I did the thing u told me to do but what I did was deleted the page first and then did the whole Java script thing next is that bad? Or am I good

  • Shelly B. Free

    Just clear cookies & browser history. Go to settinss

  • amber

    Help its not working

  • Sev Gerk

    easiest way for most users to do is to just delete app and reinstall it. i hate those…

  • samanan 7

    When I kept closing the scam tabs, the last one I closed said it was accessing my apple account for the scam payment. Is everything alright?

  • Tyler

    Something similar just happened to me, except it forced my iphone5 to restart, is there anything i should be worried about?

  • Paige

    This just happened to me and it freaked me out so much I just called that number that was on that notification or pop up. I honestly thought it was real and when I did call they identified themselves as Apple technicians and asked me my first and last name. Then they told me I was in a porn site and I probably clicked a ad that caused this to happen and I was not in a porn site. They even told me my technical support has been expired and I will have to pay 130 something to renew it again. Only then they will be able to fix the problem and protect my phone from being hacked. He said all my personal things are in jeopardy and I should get this taken care of asap. What was weird was that whenever in past I called apple, u would have to go through series of options before finally talking to a agent but with that number, they picked up immediately. I then thought it was weird so I hung up but the thing is I am now scared and worried what if while I was as talking to them, they were actually seriously hacking my phone. Could that be a possibility? Should I be worried? I already am :/ lol but please help.

  • Paige

    Sorry about my poor grammar.

  • Alexa

    So this scam happened to me! It disabled my iMessage after 24 hours of the time I received the scam pop-up! How do I get my iMessage back! 🙁

  • Kiraaa Lucyyy

    About half an hour ago I was watching YouTube on safari on my IPhone and it suddenly redirected me to this porn site (and I’ve never ever watched porn I do not know what it is I’m 12 and a girl) and it said something like “you’ve been caught watching illegal pornograpgy I had a panic attack I was shaking so I double clicked the home button and killed the tab I only got a glance of the message but it looked genuine I’m am so scared HELP! It’s 11:00 pm and I have school in the morning I can’t get any sleep I am terrified😭😭💩

  • Finley Scott

    I was searching up this Czech hairstyle then I clicked on it then it was like you’ve been pinpointed for watching child pornography. Pay £100 or your Apple ID will be deactivated like wow jeez I was just searching a hairstyle

  • Finley Scott

    Just retarder your whole phone delete your Apple ID and make a new Apple ID then back it up the exact same thing happened to me but I didn’t call anyone I just deleted everything and no police are after me 🙂

  • Finley Scott

    restart*

  • luke

    Hey I was just browsing the web, nothing bad I swear! And I clicked on something and all of a sudden a tab opened and it said FBI ATTENTION! I got so worried and I still am is this a scam or is it real? It was saying I’m being charged for doing innapropriate things that I didn’t do.

  • luke

    Its on an android phone too.

  • Matteo Bravo

    So I got a similar pop up message and it told me to contact Apple support and I have dealt with these in the past so I didn’t panic. But this time when I clicked ok several times my phone turned off and it restarted. That is when I started to panic as I had never seen that before and I am worried that my phone has a virus. How could they have restarted my phone through a website? Should I be worried? Please help

  • James Scullion

    How do i get rid of this plse!!!

  • Baylee

    Don’t worry I was on line looking up something for school and that popped up on my school iPad and that was like 3 weeks ago and we haven’t gotten any notifications about that and the iPad works fine I knew it was a scam cus it’s a school iPad All noody sites are blocked.

  • Ahmed Hussaini

    Can someone help? I’m a minor and I decided to look at some hentai, and got hit with this warning that I was charged with watching child porn, copyright infringement, and some other stuff. It was laid out all formally stating “You violated Article 118 of World Declaration….” or something like that. It said the government will come investigate shortly. I clicked ok, then it told me my charges and said to put in my credit card number for $500 I think it was (which I didn’t), and I clicked ok. Is this a scam? I’m 99% sure it is, just wanna make sure with some experts. Thanks.

  • Byron c

    Reading all this has helped me a lot and you brought my mood up, I was excused of watching child porn (which is ridiculous) but I didn’t click OK (I was on an iPad) so I never saw a £500 pound fine and to insert my PayPal details. I just paniced and went to settings and wiped all my data on safari, it’s only been like An hour since it happend, but I’m still slightly worried that no one mentioned anything about is saying “you may spend from 5 to 10 years in jail and be charged 100,000 pounds! What?
    I think I’ll be fine but I could do with some help?

  • Herald

    Honestly I had that exact message a couple minutes ago and a few minutes on this web site showed me it’s a scam don’t worry.

  • Ahmed Hussaini

    Thanks, I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t gonna get prosecuted for things I didn’t do.

  • Holly Aultman

    Thanks so much!! I was reading a book online and accidentally pressed a link in the page and the warning popped up. I started to freak out. Then I got on my iPhone and googled FBI child pornography fraud. Your article was the first to come up and it worked. Thank you so much. 😭😭😀😀🤗🤗

  • Kailey

    If you hit ok it doesnt even do anything just close out of the web and clear your browser history. Plus, your phone will allow you to watch porn. Why the fuck would the fbi give a shit?

  • neil

    Very helpful, thank you. Do you know if the hackers can view any of my information on my phone (such as contacts, photos, etc.)?

  • Guest

    Thank you sooooo much I nearly had a heart attack, I was only searching for airsoft equipment

  • Archi

    I had this problem as well, freaked me the hell out…. Almost had a panic attack.

    This is what I did before seeing this though,
    I went into settings> Safari> advanced > turn off java script > then back out to main Safari > clear history and website data.

    Worked, hope this helps too.

    ^done in iPhone 5^

  • Can’t_Find_The_Remote

    First thing to do is go to settings and clear your safari browser history. When you do that the warning goes away. I have done it a few times on my iphone and it has worked every time.

  • Tracy Goldowski

    Thank you for the help! Worked perfectly on my iPad.

  • It’s a scam. The police aren’t involved at all so don’t worry.

  • It’s a scam. Don’t worry about it. It’s easy to get geolocation data for IP addresses from public databases.

  • That specific page has probably been hijacked. It is a problem with the web site, not your phone. The only remedy is for the web site owner to fix the problem. Until then, you’ll just need to stay away from that page.

  • As long as the page is gone, you are fine.

  • You’re good.

  • You can’t delete the Safari app, however, since it is part of the iOS.

  • I’ll need to know more details of what you’re doing or not doing. Make sure to follow the instructions exactly step for step.

  • Yes, there is no way anyone could access your Apple account from a web page scam like this.

  • I doubt very much it could have forced your iPhone 5 to restart. However, it is possible that if your Safari crashed or something, maybe your phone also crashed, which then causes a restart.

  • As long as you didn’t give them any information about your account, then there’s really nothing they could have done to your iPhone. So you don’t need to do anything drastic.

  • I do not believe the scam did anything to your iPhone. There’s no way a scam like this can affect iMessage or any other app. So there must have been some sort of other issues. Double-check your iMessages settings.

  • It’s a scam. Don’t worry, your iPhone is safe and so are you.

  • Yep, they pop up from just about any site that has been hacked. The problem is with the web site, not your device.

  • Still a scam. If the FBI thought you were doing something illegal, they’d bust down your door, not threaten you through a web page pop-up.

  • You’re probably fine, but since it’s an Android phone, there is a possibility that it can get a malware. Be cautious.

  • The scam didn’t restart your iPhone, but it is possible that your Safari crashed, which might have also crashed your iPhone. There are no known viruses for the iPhone or iPad.

  • Follow the steps in this article very carefully.

  • Yep, it’s a scam. You’re fine.

  • No matter what the details are, they are all scams.

  • You’re very welcome!

  • These are scams. There is no hacking or malware involved, therefore no one could access the info on your iPhone. Even if there was some way for someone to hack the Safari browser, the data in your other apps is safe.

  • No problem!

  • Adam Sidney

    Thank you, this has really helped me! Thanks a million

  • Rose

    it’s still now working?

  • Rose

    I mean not working?

  • DracoKat

    Yeah this has happened to me twice. The first time they said I’d been watching child pornography and a swat team were coming to my house if I didn’t pay a £200 fine within 48 hours. The next one happened today and accused me AGAIN of watching and downloading illegal porn. It also said that I had to pay a £100 fine and that I would serve 7-8 years in prison. It had also ‘pin pointed my location’ and gave me the coordinates to where I was now apparently. I looked up the coordinates and they were in Pakistan, not in England where I am. So I just face palmed and cleared my history in the settings and continued on with my day.

  • Corrine Neville

    Hi i had this come on my sons phone.totally freaked out at him but then read on here it was a scam..ive followed your steps which seems to have removed the message about child porn and being fined…but it still has a message that says cannot open page…safari cannot open the page because the address is invalid….how do i get this off????

  • If you can’t close the page normally, you may need to “force” Safari closed (double tap home button and swipe up on Safari). If the problem is still there when you re-open Safari, then you may need to go to Settings > Safari > Clear History and Website Data (and also force Safari closed again). If none of that works, then you may need to restart your iPhone as well.

  • Becca

    I have done everything bit when I click OK again it will not go 🙁

  • Try shutting down Safari by double-tapping the home button and then swiping up on Safari.

  • Paige

    Thank you so much for your help. I felt beyond relief the moment when I came across the information you provided about the scams in Internet, it was really helpful. Thank you again.

  • user

    if your using a iphone i have got this scam before best this to to tap home screen botton go to setting go and turn on air plsin mode then go to sarfarie history setting clear all search history …if u can not find the seartan one this is fastest rought it will wipe all browsing history but you will be able to turn airplain mode back off and continue searching with out pop up

  • Sarah

    Crap. I freaked and called the damn number. Indian man telling me it’s a “very very dangerous” virus (my first clue to the scam.. It was on my iPad, I was calling from my phone… So how’d he know anything about my iPad??) it was going to cost me $99.99 (wtf?!) and he needed a credit card number. I was like… I need some kind of proof of something before I just go and give you my card number! He said he couldn’t possibly send me any verifying information first, he needed my card number first. I told him I’d call him back, after I look in to it first (was gonna call my mom. She always knows what to do) and he said no, just hang up. I was like, what? And he was like, hang up, just hang up. So I obviously knew for SURE I did the right thing. Click! I’m a little scared though because I gave him my email address.. Thinking he was going to email me information about virus protection! Am I at risk!? He can’t do anything with just an email address right? I hope not. Asshole.

  • Anum Rauf

    Hi, i have managed to get rid of the paysafe guard fine , by doing everything you said. Thankyou so much!
    Is my phone completely safe now, so the cant get my credit card details or any other info? Please let me know so i can carry on using my phone as usual.

  • Mindi

    I got freaked out called the number, from my work phone and only gave them my phone number. I then realized this guy had a VERY heavy India accent I couldn’t even understand and called them out on being a scam, they quickly hung up. Is there anything they can do to my phone from just my phone number???

  • Old people

    I did all you said but I still have a red dot for a message

  • Jackie (Jax) Truong

    So the same thing happened to me and I freaked out so I called them and told them my iPhone model but then they demanded insistently for payment to get rid of it so I hung up. I got rid of the pop-up page but will they be able to do anything with my phone number and model number?

  • Megan Proffitt

    Thank you!! This helped a lot! Definitely bookmarked this for future reference!

  • Bobby Mooray

    I got a different one it was about music and different bad pornography but I deleted my internet history and it went away

  • Johnny

    I got the FBI warning thing on My iPad. I imediatly closed down wi-fi and iPad. Starten it again, Went to settings and cleared all history. ( i didnt do the Java thing intill later)
    But when i go out in the ngt i cant se videos anymore .. Videos wont load and an adult page called easygirls keeps coming up. Youtube works fine though.

    Is it possible that i have Something of trojan or virus or Something ??

    Best regards. P

  • Jinsei

    A moment ago, I received that child pornography accusation fine message. Now I am no stranger to these types of messages, but this was the first one for me that tried to cite the “law”. I am very ignorant of my country’s law because I have absolutely zero interest in learning it… and I forget things relatively quickly. Basically, that message really scared me, even though I am aware that I have never viewed child pornography once in my life, the thought of defending this accusation in court gripped my throat.

    Anyway, once that message popped up, I was unable to use Safari at all, so I was starting to believe it was real… till I asked myself… If I broke a law then why the hell can I be let go with just paying a small fine? Why the hell did it give me the option to cancel my payment? Why the hell did it suggest PayPal? Possession of child pornography is a serious offense, right? So I tried this method;

    1: Press the home button
    2: Opening settings then access safari’s settings.
    3: Tap advance then erase all web data from the browser.
    4: Open Safari then erase all of its history.

    I didn’t turn off the JavaScript, but this method allowed me to use safari again with no trouble at all. Of course, after it was gone, I looked up on google “$250 charge made to those who view child pornography online”. Then I found this post along with a couple of other related news stories.

    Thank you for creating this post. I finally have peace in my mind.

  • Elizabeth Welsh

    I’m having this same ad you wrote about, pop up on my Xbox one. When I deleted my profiles and added them again I opened up Microsoft edge and it was still there but I clicked out until I could use the search box- and I searched for how to get rid of a virus on an Xbox 1. I’m not sure what to do because every website I find to scan and remove viruses, it says it’s not compatible with my system(Xbox). Any advice for this? Thank you!

  • RJ

    This happend to me when I was surfing the web and my mistake was to click a random link. The link brought me through flashes of other websites against my will then all the sudden the ok thing showed up. I flipped out and tried to get out. It showed my location and accused me of seeing a bunch of different horrible porn categories that can get you arrested. I found out how to get it off by pressing the delete search history and website data button on settings. I also looked and saw that my location was enabled so that’s how they saw my location. Looking at this article made me relax. Thank you

  • Art

    I just had this message, then It took me onto some sort of animal pornographic website against my will, I’ve managed to get off it now and the virus seems to have disappeared. Do I need to do anything else now?

  • Willow Thompson

    Thank you so much. As a 16 year old girl receiving these scam messages from the “FBI” I

  • james bacon

    thank you so much, that was a horrible experience, your instruction was easy to follow, thank you again.

  • Shining Yin

    You are a lifesaver, I was terrified when this scam appeared and your information solved the issue. Thank you so much!

  • Braden

    I need help. I was just going about my business when all of a sudden I got this FBI pop up that said I was watching child porn. It had my location, IP and this long lecture of how it was against lots of laws and stuff. It said if I don’t pay $500 I will be locked away. Is this a scam? Please help me I literally had a 2 hr mental breakdown.

  • Nadya G.

    thank you so much…i thought my ipad was a gonner and I just got it…not even a month old! Again thank you! God bless you for the wisdom that you shared!

  • Charlie Cook

    Just had a fake play.google.com-4321.com pop up that promised a free iPhone 6s Plus “this free gift is exclusively only for loyal Apple customers in the Australia” (not a typo on my part!). It wouldn’t let me into safari until I clicked OK.
    I followed your instructions and they fixed the problem – thanks Marcel

  • Bobby Hoyt

    This could not have been more helpful! Thank you so much for your detailed instructions. They told me my phone would be erased if I didn’t enter a pin number for a 500 dollar walmart gift card. haha. I obviously knew it was a scam despite the “FBI” tag line. I mean, they spelt photos “fotos” and I highly doubt the US government deals in walmart gift cards. haha. Thank you again.

  • Royce Ziggle

    This is a tutorial on HOW TO RID YOUR iPHONE of that totally asinine Malware which freezes you from searches and threatens you with FBI involvement.

  • Helen

    Will something happen if I didn’t turn of JavaScript before saying ok and exiting out?

  • Matas Skudra

    Oh my lord, I was browsing on a website and the child pornography scam popped up, I literally got cardiac arrest because of it, thanks so much! No really, I was worried 😐

  • brandon

    hi, i was just about to watch porn (xvideos) on my macbook and then another page popped up saying loads of things, that i had been watching child porn for ruck sake, I DO NOT WATCH CHILD PORN, ordering me to pay £100 pounds with in 72 hours or the police will be at my door,? im so confused and dont understand, do you know whats going on ?? im really worried

  • Sean

    Just go to safari settings and click clear browser history and then when you reopen safari it’s blank and back to normal

  • Anonymous

    It happened to me just minutes ago. I was searching porn( no lie in that, any human needs its satisfaction some way). And the pop up just came, it was in my language so I quickly read it, and it stood that I was accused of watching child pornography (that I will never EVER do). I freaked out naturally. It said that I needed to buy a coupon that I could get from any discount store, and if I didn’t do it, I would get fined with 250$ and 5-7 years in jail. But I thought again, I have been scammed before, so I just cleared my history. Bam, it’s gone. Good god, I hate scams.

  • Ina

    A pop up that came up says that I’ve been storing and viewing child pornography (something I would never do as I am still a child myself) and I am scared out of my mind. What do I do?

  • They really can’t do anything with your e-mail address except send you spam. So you’re fine. Learn from the experience and share this article with others who might fall for it.

  • There is no way for anyone to get personal information from your iPhone with these types of scams. There are no known malwares for iPhones so nothing exists that can do this type of thing or any other malicious activity.

  • There is nothing they can do to your phone with your phone number, other than maybe send you junk text messages. So you’re good to go!

  • I’m not sure what you mean.

  • No, there is nothing they can do with that information, except maybe send you junk texts. So relax and carry on.

  • You’re welcome! Make sure to share this article with others who might fall for a scam.

  • Good to hear!

  • There are no known trojans or viruses for the iPad or iPhone, so no, you almost certainly do not have any form of malware. Likely you need to close all browser windows open in Safari to make sure you’ve closed down the page that is triggering the scam pages to pop up. Once that is gone, you should be good to go as these scams do not in fact use any sort of malicious code. They are simply very annoying pop-ups.

  • I’m glad you were able to get your Safari working again and I’m glad you thought the situation through and realized it was a scam. Please share this article with others who might fall for a scam like this.

  • Well, I don’t have an Xbox one to test with, so I can’t offer any specific advice. However, I’m not aware of any actual “viruses” that can infect an Xbox. So if you’re searching for “removing viruses” on an Xbox, you won’t find anything useful since no anti-virus software exists (to my knowledge) for an Xbox. Rather, you should probably search for something along the lines of closing out Xbox browser windows or clearing scam web pages from an Xbox. That will probably get you better information. Remember, these things are scams, not actual viruses.

  • I’m glad I could help! Please share this article with others who might fall for the scam.

  • First off, there was never any actual virus or malicious code. These scams are basically just very annoying pop-ups. So by closing down all your browser windows, you have cleared out the scam pages. As long as you aren’t seeing the scam pages anymore, then you are good to go!

  • You’re welcome. Share this article with your friends so they know what to do and not be scared by these scams.

  • You’re welcome!

  • No problem! Let others know about this article so they can be informed.

  • First off, relax because these are all scams, no matter if they claim to know your location and/or IP address. It is very easy for web pages to determine this information from publicly available information that Internet providers share for geolocation data. The FBI does not use web pop-up messages to collect fines. They’d have you in handcuffs already.

  • No problem! Please share the article with others as well!

  • I’m glad I could help!

  • Good for you to recognize the scam! I’m glad the article helped you clear out the scam pages. Make sure to share the article with others so they can be informed.

  • Just to be clear, there is no actual malware. These scams are simply very annoying web pop ups. But yes, they can in effect freeze up your Safari and they are totally asinine.

  • As long as you get rid of the scam pages so they aren’t bothering you anymore, then you are fine. Turning off JavaScript is required to close out certain scam pages, but not others. As long as they are gone, you are good to go.

  • These scams can be heart-stopping to those who fall for them. I’m glad you are fine now!

  • First off, this is a scam and nothing more. So you are fine. However, you may want to read this article that specifically talks about these scams on Macs instead of iPhones:

    http://marcelbrown.com/2013/07/18/fbi-phishing-scam-affects-mac-users-how-to-bypass/

  • This can work for certain scam pages, but some others require turning off JavaScript. Also, some people may not want to clear out their browser history so any solution that can avoid the loss of that data is good to know. But thanks for the tip!

  • I’m glad you recognized the scam right away and that you got rid of it so easily. Be sure to let others know about this article so they can also be informed.

  • First, realize this is a complete scam and no law enforcement would communicate with you through a web page pop-up message. Second, re-read the article for step-by-step instructions on how to clear out these scam web pages.

  • Ghost

    I got one that went into a bunch of legal actions and at the end told me click ok. It mentioned paying anything but mentioned fines in the pop up. It accused me of viewing illegal porn. And said I was under investigation. If I would have clicked ok is that where they would of asked for money? Also, is this just another scam? It had my IP address, city and even the type of Internet provider. PLEASE HELP

  • Ghost

    Also it was on iPhone. And it didn’t ask for money but prompted me to click ok. Accused me of stuff I would never do.

  • Jamee

    What if I got scared and called the number and gave them the last 4 letters of my device. What could this mean?

  • Fred Polink

    So they can’t see the stuff that it has listed

  • Fred Polink

    Also if I clicked ok at first and didn’t follow the steps but deleted the Google app will o get anything. Because this didn’t happen to me on safari it happened on the Google app so I am a bit worried

  • Nix Dollon

    Guys. All you actually have to do is go to safari in your setting and click clear history and website data near the bottom in blue font. It will clear everything you looked up, but will remove the pop up.

  • Nix Dollon

    Go to safari in setting and scroll till you sees clear history and website data. It will erase everything in your safari and get rid of the pop up.

  • Getting your IP address, city, and Internet provider is a very simple lookup of publicly available information. Scammers use it to try to scare you. Don’t give in to their fear tactics.

  • I’m not sure what you mean by last four letters of your device. But regardless, I’m sure they couldn’t do anything to your iPhone even if they had some sort of letters/digits from your device.

  • Well, since you completely removed the app, then you certainly removed the scam web page. Since this is just a scam, then there is nothing to worry about. No malware/viruses exist for the iPhone.

  • Ghost

    Thank you for the help! Your knowledge put mind at ease over this being a scam and nothing more

  • Ghost

    Thank you for your help! Your knowledge put my mind at ease over this being a scam and nothing more

  • Cathy Brown

    Thank you so much for this. I would click OK and the pop up would come back. After the 3rd time a message would say do you want to block messages from this page and I would ok and it would close safari. When I would go back same thing happened. I did what you said in the article and it worked beautifully. Again thank you so much for this.

  • You’re quite welcome!

  • ninilol4556

    Thank god when I saw your post I started crying (and I still am!)
    It said I was accused of viewing child pornography! (And I am one!)
    I was so scared I tought I was going to jail and I cried so much I even closed my IPad and after I erased all my safari data and then I saw your post!
    Thank you so much you’re a god sent to me!

  • David

    I got this on my iPhone. I freaked out and then I was like, prepaid card? Really? So I went to do some research on how to get rid of it. But the I freaked out again. What if it’s in the iPhone system? I have apps from the banks, from credit cards, what if it has some trick to copy all the passwords of the bank accounts I have in my apps and all the information? Should factory reset my phone?

  • David

    I got this on my iPhone. I freaked out and then I was like, prepaid card? Really? So I went to do some research on how to get rid of it. But then I freaked out again. What if it’s in the iPhone system? I have apps from the banks, from credit cards, what if it has some trick to copy all the passwords of the bank accounts I have in my apps and all the information? Should I factory reset my iPhone?

  • Dex

    I

  • Dex Dev

    Hello Marcel, I have read all of the info above but I’m still worried, it started by my buddy sending me a link to a hentai site, wasn’t intrested so I decided to remove the tab, as I was on the tabs bar on my iPhone, I saw a tab, I tapped on it and a pop up said that they are the Federal Law Of Canada, and told me that I violated them by possession of child pornography, and told me to pay them via PayPal $250, now I’m scared as PayPal in Canada is used for charges, claims and fines. Then it said your device is disabled. Plz tell me this is not real. I’m so scared 😰

  • disqus_r3liZmQ43c

    Thank you, Nix Dollon! I had an offer for free iPhones (yeah, right) that wouldn’t disappear, but I followed your advice, and it’s gone.

  • Liz

    I called the number and gave them my iPad #code what should I do I’m freaking out

  • Liz

    I don’t think it’s real but I called the number because it wouldn’t leave my screen I’m so scared now

  • Liz

    I did this too I’m very nervous

  • unknown 1234

    I had the same message and clicked ok and i exited out of it because it said pay i cant remember the amount but it said an amount to be paid to apple through i think paypal so i wont get taken to jain by the fbi will i please i hope this is all true that i dont go to jail because im scared rn my heart is racing i shut down my ipad and am scared to turn it back on so what is it explain it in full details please and tell me if its safe to turn back on my ipad thank you

  • crysta

    when I get to step number 7–the warning does not go away. The warning is on my Chrome browser so I cannot access any of the bars to clear the history…help!

  • Stiffery1

    I got the same pop up but it says in the United States.they told to to pay 500 dollars and that they are recording my audio.is it just a scam?im really worried

  • Von

    I wasnt able to screenshot mines however, it was asking for a code as well as my credit card information. Mind you i wasnt even looking at child pornography totally disgusting

  • No, do not factory reset it! There is nothing in your iPhone. There are no malwares in existence that can affect the iPhone in this way. This is nothing more than a web page scam.

  • I don’t really know anything about Canadian law, but I’m pretty certain that if any law enforcement in the world thought you had child porn they would break down your door, not send you a message through a web pop-up.

  • I’m not sure what your #code is. But I’m fairly certain that it won’t let anybody do anything bad to your iPad.

  • As long as you didn’t pay them anything or give them your credit card number, you’re probably fine.

  • Trust me, if the FBI wanted to prosecute you they’d have you in custody already. Turning off your iPad wouldn’t save you if the FBI wanted you. This is all a scam and you’re fine. Close out the scam web page and it’ll all be ok.

  • I’m not sure about the Chrome browser, but worst case you can uninstall the app and reinstall it and I believe that will clear everything out.

  • It’s a scam in the United States too!

  • Yeah, that’s why it’s a total scam. Don’t pay them anything or contact them. Just close out the page.

  • Fakko

    It does, but it is hardly an elegant solution. Unfortunately I was unable to find a better one.

    Chrome does not give you cache flushing or data resetting options via the control panel.

  • I agree, the solution is completely inelegant, but as you’ve found, it does not appear Google gives us any other option with Chrome.

  • Liz Phillips

    Thanks guy. I just got this a few minutes ago and started to freak out. All I wanted was to find out where I could find the theme for Attack on Titan T.T

  • Matthew L

    My friend sent a link that contained a picture of child pornography, he said the link was completely different and ad redirected me, since this was on there can I get in trouble, it freaked me out so bad. I could use some reassuring.

  • cade37

    Supper helpful. I can finally stop feeling nauseous and worried! Thank you so much!

  • Ashley

    I clicked ok on accident what do i do now! It says my browsing activity is unusual and this won’t stop.

  • Erik Arteaga

    I just got the scam and was told to give 500$ if I don’t they are going to contact my phone contacts, they sent me a screenshot ,I just wanted to know if you have heard of this and if they have the ability to actually contact your friends

  • Sade N Estes

    That was great! Thank you!! @M@marcelbrown:disqus

  • James Segal

    I have an iphone 6 and use google chrome browser. I got this “FBI scam” (actually US Marshalls on mine) yesterday. The instructions to remove for Safari won’t work as the options under Settings are not there for Chrome. It seems to only way to delete history, cookies, etc is by accessing the Chrome menu, which I cannot get to because of this ransomware. I planned on doing a factory reset and then restoring my last backup from two nights ago, but I wasn’t thinking last night and another icloud backup (I’m assuming with the ransomware) was made and over-wrote the last good backup. Help please!

  • Good to hear you got it straightened out!

  • Eleanor hale

    I was terrified when it told me that I had been accessing child pornography and would be going to.jail if i ddn’t pay a 100 pound fine but my pop up also told me they were cutting off my internet access and that I would be receiving a letter in 2 days. Has anyone else had this?

  • Same Scam. Different Day.

  • Guest

    Seriously wish I could just beat the shit out of the no life’s who are behind this trash.. Words can’t describe how pathetic these people are. Thanks for the help.

  • You’re welcome!

  • Luke

    Thanks big time, I accidentally clicked a link in the Urban Dictionary and it sent me to this same thing, I was terrified.

  • Keith

    I recently got the same scam on my iphone 5
    & it locked up Google on it, I don’t use safari, not sure how i can get rid of this

  • Scott Huber

    Thanks, Nix.

  • david hernadez

    OK So i was looking up porn and it looks nothing what those pictures down there look like it looks legit and it saying 500 dollars and it wont go away and i think its real please help me

  • I assure you it is a scam. Read through the article carefully and you should be able to close out the scam page.

  • izzyeddy

    Thanx for the info, I had a nasty ransomware msg pop up on my Chrome this morning, folllowed your instructions and it worked just like you said.

  • James Segal

    Good news. Thanks for sharing your success.

  • Ana

    Okay, I was looking up gay porn and suddenly a pop-up showed up after clicking a site. I didn’t read it entirely, but it said that it was an FBI warning saying I’m accused of watching banned porn (child porn, zoophilia, rape) and that I had to pay a $100 fee. I was so worried, because I thought it was real. It even showed my IP address, and I was worried if I didn’t pay right now, the FBI would go to my apartment building and arrest me despite only being a teenager. What would my mom think of me, not believing that I didn’t search that stuff up??
    I pressed cancel, but it just sent me to another weird pop-up that I didn’t read at all, and I clicked cancel on that one, and it sent me to another pop-up mentioning something about recording my audio. I got out of my browsing site and turned off my Alcatel one touch pixi 7 and turned it on again. No pop up showed up again, but I am still so worried. I have never searched up child porn, zoophilia, or rape because all of those are disgusting as hell (especially zoophilia), and I am very aware of how they are illegal, since it’s all over the news. HELP.

  • Since the FBI has not come through your door, I would hope at this point you realize this was a scam. Relax, law enforcement doesn’t make accusations and demand money through web pop-ups.

  • Google Chrome on an iPhone or iPad must be uninstalled and then reinstalled to get rid of a lot of these scam pages. Unfortunately, that is the only way I know of at this time to fix the issue. Fortunately, it is a quick process, albeit annoying.

  • Chemgal

    Hoping you can help a technology impaired mom. This came up on one of my kids phones while searching for a disney star. He showed it to me. I logged the phone off the wireless, had everyone else in the house disconnect as well, did some searching, and found this page and how to remove it. Another article indicated that I have to worry about malware, and it can go to any device connected by wireless since this message popped up while he was connected that way instead of via cellular. Is this accurate?

  • Chloe Swann

    Can someone help me I was watching some videos on YouTube just like daily video people and that and a warning from the FBI said if I didn’t pay £100 in moneypak thing I would be arrested within 24hr the things said that it had my address due to my broabrand or something and that they would be sending a letter it completely blocked me from using safari on my phone… Should I be worried is it a scam? Could they send a letter to my home?

  • James

    Hi. I’m really scared because this happened to me yesterday, it said I was watching illegal videos which I wasn’t, I’m scared that they are going to come round

  • Most likely not. Most of these messages are in fact only scams and have no real “malware” component to them. Especially the part about being able to go to “any device” since there are no malwares that can infect different types of devices and there are no malwares that can infect iPhones or iPads. I’m sure you’re fine.

  • It’s a scam and only a scam.

  • It’s a scam. These scams are designed to prey on your fears. Realize it is only a scam and move on. They would have already arrested you if they really thought you were breaking the law.

  • Chemgal

    Thank you! As a parent trying to navigate keeping devices and my kids safe, I appreciate so much that you wrote this article and answered my question using laymen’s terms. My attempts to access other sources of information are usually met with snide comments about my lack of knowledge. So again, thank you.

  • No problem! You’re welcome!

  • Mia

    I got one 3 months ago and I’m still freaking out. It was a white pop up with my location on it and IP address. I can’t remember if it asked for money because I got so freaked out that I closed the tab but I do remember it saying something about my local police department which really scared me.

  • Anonymous

    It’s a scam. If you were actually in trouble you would be in jail right now.

  • alex

    This worked perfectly! Thank you so much!

  • Alex Kerr

    Hi I’ve got exactly the same on my IPad, I’ve gone through all of this and it still will not go away. Could you please help me?

  • Alex Kerr

    Does it go away over time?

  • toddyholmes

    I was using Chrome on my iPhone 6S plus and it won’t go away. I think you have to go into the menu in Chrome to turn off JavaScript for Chrome, but the pop-ups prevent me from getting to that menu.

  • Omar

    Ok so i was looking up porn and i clicked on this site and it

  • Katrina

    Hi Marcel,

    I had an FBI popup similar to what other posters are describing on my windows 10 computer. I was able to exit the window and clear my browsing history and website data. As far as I am aware, nothing was downloaded onto my computer. My avast anti-virus software didn’t detect any viruses/malware. I ran a malwarebytes program on my computer and it identified 3 pieces of malware (Adware.1clickdownload related to software on my computer) as well as PURPs (no viruses or trojans were detected). Does this mean that the popup didn’t install anything incriminating onto my computer and my computer is clean? Is the adware.1click download common? I am really worried about this and I just need some reassurance because I didn’t search anything that was dodgy.

  • P.S Rafael

    I was searching steam when suddenly a virus warning came up that included a countdown before my entire ipod touch get corrupted, it says i can fix it by installing an app from app
    store. What should i do?

  • P.S Rafael

    O yeah one more thing, does ipod touch is safe?

  • You must uninstall Chrome and then reinstall it to get rid of the pop-ups. That unfortunately is the only way I know of right now that works.

  • It’s not a virus. Please read the entire article to find out how to get rid of the scam.

  • Likely you are fine, even with Windows 10, since a lot of these pop-ups don’t actually infect your computer with anything. As always when using Windows, stay vigilant and make sure you have good anti-malware software that stays up to date and keep your Windows updates up-to-date as well.

  • It’s a scam. Follow the instructions in the article to clear out the scam page.

  • Make sure you carefully read the article to make sure you are doing the correct steps on the Safari browser. If you are using another browser such as Chrome, this may be why the steps aren’t working.

  • Denise Thomas

    Thank you! This was so helpful!

  • Michael Pelletier

    I got something almost like this…. everytime i tried opening Safari on my iPhone, i’d get a pop up email draft and had to hit cancel every time to get past it…. but it kept coming back. I couldn’t get into Safari because of it. I followed the simple steps above in the article, and voila….. gone! Everything is fine now, and i can use Safari just like normal. Thank you SOOOOOO much.

  • Bob

    Put your phone or device on airplane mode then close out all the tabs so it won’t redirect you, then turn airplane mode back off

  • Bob

    No iOS Device known has gotten a virus or anything from any website, so for now you don’t have to worry about anything ! And if you read this you owe the IRS $1000 / just kidding:)

  • Bob

    :):):):):) swear to god the same thing happened to me, put your device on airplane mode close the tabs then turn it back off, then you’ll be fine. Ps try a different site.

  • Bob

    Put it on airplane mode then do it

  • Game30

    THANK YOU! I didn’t fall for the scam but I was freaking out that I couldn’t use the app anymore and didn’t know how to stop it. Thanks again!

  • Trish Thomas Harrison

    That worked!! Thank you.. Thank you.. Thank you Marcel!

  • Russell Myers

    I got the your battery is badly damaged by (4) virus “warning pop up” I did what I said and downloaded this MyMobileSecure VPN app , was that a mistake ? My iPhone 7 is slower ever since

  • Guest_33445557

    I had this happen months back…. it was saying my phone was infected with a virus. Would not go away, so stupid me I called the number who was posing as apple tech support! Again stupid me gave them my card number and they event sent me a receipt by email it all seemed very legit. I paid 25 bucks. They said my phone was clean. Moments later my account was wiped clean. I know I know it was very stupid of me but I had never came across that before I had no clue! Well I had a message pop up yesterday your apple device has a virus. This time I did my research and just cleared the data. My question is, please tell me there is no way they have access to my money again? I didn’t call no one I just seen the message and cleared the data

  • Arnold Nguyen

    Thank you, helped sooo much. I am a preteen this message popped up while I was on a websit learning about human blood vessels and this randomly popped up. I was scared to death thank you!

  • Michael

    A pop up came up today and it told me to send an email and call a number. I sent the email to some random account and the pop up went away (I did not call the number). I then followed your steps just to be safe. I’m just worried that my gmail will be sending spam emails to my contacts. Is that possible or am I just worried?

  • I would delete that app right away as doing some research on it find that it is not really a useful app and looks at your network usage for marketing purposes. That is likely what is making your phone feel slow.

  • Odds are the new scammers aren’t necessarily the same as the first scammers. So there’s really no way they could have access to your money. However, if you have not cancelled the credit card you used the first time, the first scammers could still have that number.

  • You’re welcome!

  • As long as you did not provide a password, just sending an e-mail to an address should not give them any sort of access into it to send spam messages. However, they may start sending you more spam! Likely, Gmail’s spam filters will help keep that to a minimum for you.

  • Jeremy P.

    This is good information Marcel. Just used it on my wife’s 5S. Appreciate your help!

  • Logan

    So this happened but it said ounhave a virus you need to download an app so I did that and it took me to the App Store is it still a fake

  • You’re welcome!

  • Yes, it is still a fake. It is just a scam advertisement trying to get you to download something. Since it would be coming from the App store it probably wouldn’t do anything bad, but I’m guessing they’re trying to score some sort of ad revenue by getting you to the App store and downloading something. Ignore all of it.

  • Joanna M Sanchez

    Just recieved one too, telling me about a virus plus a “trojan story” lol freaked me out. It even gave me a telephone to call but I went on the apple site to find no such number. If anything its creepy and annoying.

  • Melinda

    I had a pop up saying Congrats! Your the winner of an iPhone 7. My niece pressed ok because she couldn’t click out of the pop up, nothing happened she’s said it happened again but this time it said something about acess to my phone she said she pressed ok but nothing happened the pop just went away. It didnt direct her to a website like scams do and my phone works fine. Could they have gotten any information off my phone by just pressing ok to these pop up’s? Nothing was download or anything like that, the only thing she did was press ok but I’m a little worried. This happened on a iPhone 7. Any advice you can provide is appreciated

  • Kenna

    Mines not an FBI warning but saying my iPhone is infected by 6 viruses and is 46.4% corrupt. I don’t see anyone else commenting with this issue so is this a different story?

  • The same thing just happened to me. It said I won an iPhone 7 (popped up while I was playing an app game) and all it had was an okay button so I pressed it. Then the same exact message instantly popped up again so I pressed okay again and a weird beep noise happened. I too want to know if anything bad has happened to my phone from the okay buttons being clicked. Sorry I couldn’t help your situation, but hopefully someone can help us both.

  • Name

    Honestly considering therapy for the first time after being accosted by this malicious pop-up ad. Although, this blog post is therapeutic. It’s been over a year since it showed up. :/

  • asdfthecat

    Mines not an FBI warning but it says my iPhone is infected by 6 viruses and is 46.4% corrupt. It’s happened twice before and it was 3 viruses then. I haven’t seen a comment like this that was answered so is there a different story for that?

  • Milord Cutter

    I believe this is not a true statement.
    “there are NO known malwares that have ever affected the iPhone”

  • Oreo

    My IPad had something pop up on the screen while viewing a website say that I was the new IPad user winner and to choose something and tried to make it look like a Facebook page. The website was called huntvista.xyz and I was about to go on my history to see it again and it said to click the okay button for a $1000 Walmart gift card and I didn’t do anything…. Please tell me what to do if it pops up again. This has happened twice….

  • Nope. Same scam, different story!

  • Please find the evidence of an actual malware that has affected the iPhone and I’ll gladly correct my statement.

    Note that I’m talking about standard iPhones. Jailbroken iPhones don’t count as that is basically a self-inflicted security hole. Also, phones that have been physically compromised also don’t count as that is an intentional hack to get around Apple’s security protocols. I count malware as something that can infect a standard device as a user would purchase off the shelf, such as Windows or Android devices.

  • This is basically the same type of scam I describe in the article. Just follow the instructions to get rid of any of these types of scams. Also, the new iOS 10.3 release claims to protect against these types of scams, so I would recommend going ahead and upgrading to that if you haven’t already. But make sure you back up your iPhone first, as this upgrade installs a new file system so there is a greater chance of a problem during the upgrade.

  • Shannon Kane Cullip

    Mine said it was a virus alert from Google. Thanks for the steps to get rid of it! Worked like a charm.

  • You’re welcome!

  • Mohammed Thottathil

    I had this weird message today on my iphone. Is it related to any hacking methods? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/51ea19f0741430f50791b917a90321551a7b5b184ebb0ac74bd894c08179527f.png

  • Mohammed Thottathil

    @marcelbrown:disqus

  • Iruka Nnakwe

    Thank you so much! <3

  • Barbara Houk

    TY, this scam told me 4 viruses had destroyed my battery.

  • Emma Bago

    I had a message pop out while taking a personality quiz for fun. It said I had a virus and a link took me to an app that I think required me to pay money to use, that would supposedly block the virus. This post was really helpful and reassuring, as I was having a panic attack.

  • Doina Margarit

    Thanks helped me to get rid of the script.

  • Ren

    Same. My phone kept saying that its infected with 6 viruses but then it changed to 4. I want to read comics but it keeps coming on the site no matter how many times I get rid of the pop up. And it keeps telling me to download an app called Norton Wifi.

  • Ren

    Same

  • Ren

    Hello. I recently got a virus warning that said I have 6 viruses and then it changed to 4 viruses. It says it will corrupt my battery and I have to pay money on an app called Norton Wifi. I’m really scared because it appeared while I was reading comics and it won’t let me read them in peace without the warnings popping up. Is there a permanent way to get rid of these?

  • No

    I keep getting pop-ups everywhere I go about winning a one-thousand dollar gift card for Visa, Amazon, or Walmart. It says it’s sent by facebook, but I have never even been on Facebook. When it takes you there, there is no option to go back to what you were trying to read. This has happened to me on so many websites on my iPhone 6s. Does anyone know what this is?

  • bobfairlane

    Apple should do more to block that bullshit. Pop ups shouldnt even work, or some way to blacklist sites instantly should be available.

  • I think you may consider me as mad :p but i am sure it will help someone who is still facing storage space issue..
    here is the best guide i found on the internet. You can follow it.

    http://www.mobilephonestricks.com/free-space-samsung-galaxy-s5/

  • Riggermeddic

    I got a message from a Nigerian Prince saying something about winning the lottery and need my name, social security number, and bank routing numbers. I gave the prince all the necessary info and it’s been a week and have yet to receive the money promised. I worried that I may have been scammed! What should I do?!

  • Justin Shearer

    Having an issue with my iPhone. I get the popup that says I should install appblocker from the play store. Obvious is malware, but I’ve cleared out safari many, many times – cleared all of the windows, deleted all favorites, and went deeper into advanced in the safari setting and clear out the rest of the ridiculous data there too. This webpage keeps coming back about 5 to 10 seconds of opening any safari webpage. Please advise.

  • Annie Bilyeu

    none of what you suggested worked. The pop up is in chrome and I can’t get rid of it.

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