Urgent iPhone and Android alert issued to all UK users – ignoring it will cost you

iPhone and users have been placed on red alert after the resurgence of a worrying scam. It appears that cyber crooks are using the lure of phone upgrades to cash in and it could leave those duped paying a very heavy price. The latest warning has been issued by police in North Wales who say they have become aware of an increasing number of reports from consumers who say they have been contacted by their mobile network about phone upgrades.

The scam then uses an elaborate tactic which leaves the user paying for a device they never actually get to own or use.

Here’s how the scam works and what to watch out for.

According to police, the hoax starts with a call which will come out of the blue. The person on the other end of the phone will claim to be from one of the UK’s phone networks such as EE, Vodafone or O2.

A very tempting deal is then offered and if accepted account details are then asked for to complete the transaction. As soon as the scammer has these personal details they then access the real account of the customer and order a new phone without them knowing.

Once the device is delivered to the victim’s real address, another call is received saying that there has been a mistake and the phone needs to be returned.

An address is handed over which usually belongs to the cyber crook or an alias – this helps to avoid detection.

There have even been reports where scammers have attended the victim’s house claiming to be couriers and asking for the phone back, explaining it was delivered by mistake.

Once the scam is complete, the crooks have a new device and the customer is left with a real phone contract they may have to pay. If you get a call like this, think before handing over any details. If a device does arrive and is then wanted back, ring your network to find out what is going on and don’t hand anything over until you are sure you’ve made the right checks.

Speaking about the scam, Detective Inspector Iolo Edwards said: “If you receive an invitation to receive a package via the post, or allow your bank account to be used to transfer funds, the likelihood is that you are assisting a fraud to take place.

“There is every possibility that you will be identified and be visited by the police and the result will be a criminal record.”

He added: “Also, if someone purporting to be a courier asks for a parcel back, keep hold of the package and contact the company directly. If you feel in any danger, call the police.

“If you are contacted by phone after the delivery, you should make a new phone call to the company that sent the goods to verify the return is genuine.

“If you fall victim to such a fraud, contact your mobile phone provider to advise them straight away. They will then commence an investigation themselves. Then report the matter to the police on 101 or Action Fraud 0300 123 2040.”