(CBS) – It’s the newest cell phone scam and it’s happening to some Lollapalooza-goers. Their smart phones are stolen, and then they’re victimized again.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports.
Ryan Harder thinks his iPhone was stolen while he was jostling to get towards a stage. He went home, froze his phone, reported it stolen to Lolla organizers and police and got a new one.
Six days later, he got a text message claiming to be from Apple support telling him his phone was found. It included a link.
The link he went to had a suspicious-looking URL that didn’t look like it was from Apple, he says. When he logged onto the real Apple site, his phone was still reported as missing.
Fraud expert Bill Kresse says the scam’s been going on for about a year. Thieves get the phone, wait for the owner to freeze it and bingo: “The phone gets a message saying someone at this e-mail address or at this text number has blocked your iPhone.”
Kresse says the bad guys use that information to send the phony message asking for a sign in and password, preying on people’s panic.
Prof. Kresse says 3 million cell phones are stolen in the U.S. each year.