“Your Apple Device Has Malfunctioned Due to a Virus” – Phishing Scam
I just had a client send me a screenshot of a “warning” they received while browsing the Internet on their Macintosh computer. It is another phishing scam reminiscent of the FBI “Ransomware” phishing scam that I wrote about last year. To quickly sum up, on a Macintosh computer, this is NOT a virus or a malware. It is simply a trick to try to get you to call the number on the screen so that you can be fooled into buying whatever it is this fake tech support is selling you. The resolution is the same as the FBI phishing scam:
- Click on the Apple Menu in the upper left-corner of your screen and choose “Force Quit” from the menu. The Force Quit window opens.
- Make sure Safari is highlighted and click the Force Quit button. This should shut down Safari. Close the Force Quit window.
- Hold down a Shift key on your keyboard as you relaunch the Safari browser (usually by clicking the Safari icon on the dock)
Holding down the Shift key while launching Safari forces the browser to not reload any previously open web sites, bypassing the fake warning page. For more details about this type of phishing scam targeting Apple Macintosh users, read my previous article, FBI “Ransomware” Phishing Scam Affects Mac Users – How To Bypass.
FYI, Apple’s real tech support phone number is 800-275-2273.