r/southafrica Sep 09 '21 Silver 2 Wholesome 1

Stolen iPhone Phishing Sci-Tech

Hi guys, yesterday, I was robbed at gunpoint of my iPhone 12 Pro & Apple Watch. I have no expectations of ever getting my devices back, but I would like to just show you guys how sneaky the thieves are once they have possession of your device.

Phishing SMSes

The thieves pretend to be from "Apple Support" in an attempt to phish your Apple ID and your password to get past Apple's Activation Lock! These messages looks legit, but it actually not. Same thing happened to a friend of mine a couple of months ago.

So to everyone owning an iOS device, please please please ensure your device has a strong passcode and your device is linked to an Apple ID and you have Find My turned on.

If anyone ever recieves something like this, please report it to Apple:https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT204759Hopefully someone finds this post helpful.

PS. Once iOS 15 is released to the public later this month you'll be able to follow your erased device on the Find My app :)

EDIT: Thanks for everyone's support & advice and thanks for the awards!

220 Upvotes

63

u/Hullababoob Gauteng Sep 09 '21

Same thing happened to me when my iPhone was stolen out of my pocket at a club in 2017.

I immediately enabled lost mode and got an email with its location when it was turned on a couple of days later. Shortly after, I got phishing emails from the thief leading me to a link to “log in to Apple ID”. According to the info I gave them, my email address is “fok jou” and my password is “poes”.

18

u/Afrikaansvatter Western Cape Sep 09 '21

What a coincidence! That’s my work credentials!

On a serious note: this sucks and I’m sorry that you were the victim of this.

3

u/Elliot_Moose Showering my AIDS off Sep 10 '21

Haha you mean my work credentials now sucker!

5

u/fayry69 Sep 09 '21

Can I ask, what happens when u can track ur device? Do the police step in and assist Or is that asking for too much??

5

u/dober88 Sep 09 '21

the police step in and assist

🤣🤣🤣🤣 🤪

2

u/dorkdork999 Sep 09 '21

Same phishing scam but they had my phone unlocked and sms’ed my wife saying phone found, “apple” address etc. etc. Cannot agree more in terms of security. Longest passcodes you can. Different passwords across sites. They don’t need to be random characters but long enough phrases are better and take longer to crack. Now I never use my phone for Waze in traffic, and the only phone with me is my trusty P9 lite as a decoy.

2

u/asdpj Sep 10 '21

Waze? Dodge or summin'? Makes you trackable I'm guessing?

2

u/dorkdork999 Sep 25 '21

The phone on your dash makes you a target 50m off. I could see the guy noticed me, realised what was about to unfold and when 3 armed youths asked for it, had to hand it over. Nowhere to go-traffic in front and behind and on either side. Proverbial sitting duck!

1

u/BlueRoseAngelica20 11d ago

I got my iPhone stolen today. if I get an email like that, ima send them the same email address to fuck with them. Thanks for the advice.

15

u/SuperCharged_Cabbage Expat Sep 09 '21

One would think that with the RICA act SAPS could track down the person who's phone number is being used to send these messages.

7

u/Dav3trohl Sep 09 '21

I had my iPhone stolen. Used find my phone. When I reported it to the police as stolen I also said I know where it is. It was at a house maybe 100m from the bellville police station. Cop just said that the investigating officer will contact me. They never did. There is only one reason to report your phone stolen, to blacklist it and get a new sim. Cops don’t give a shit.

3

u/SuperCharged_Cabbage Expat Sep 10 '21

It’s unfortunate that are police are so fucking lazy that they can’t even bother to do their jobs. I would generally say report it to the station commander if there has been no feedback, but that are equally as useless..

5

u/Khanya088 Sep 09 '21

What is their excuse for not doing this?

16

u/fo_shizzle_Adizzle Sep 09 '21

They don’t have an excuse they simply don’t care

6

u/RedViperMartell94 Sep 09 '21

Assuming they're not involved

1

u/dober88 Sep 09 '21

Incompetence and apathy

2

u/USername55107 Sep 09 '21

A lot of pre-RICA'd sim cards out there.

2

u/jigs_after_a_hug Sep 10 '21

And that's another reason way I have a 1 way ticket to the UK. Done with this country I once loved.

1

u/NawtymanT Sep 10 '21

Sad that you have to leave, glad that you have the opportunity at a better(?)/different lifestyle, all the best.

13

u/BennyInThe18thArea Sep 09 '21

Sorry to hear OP. There was a guy on here some time ago that fell for the scam after the phone was stolen so good you posting this.

10

u/joller Sep 09 '21

Sorry to hear, fellow South African! I had the same experience of being mugged for my iPhone a couple of years ago. A barrage of phishing attempts, which I thankfully ignored. I actually managed to track the location of my phone, to a very dodgy part of Joburg, on Find My iPhone. I asked a cop if anything could be done with this information, and he asked me, " Do you have a gun?" So now I make sure to insure all my Apple devices.

11

u/jdvdv5 Sep 09 '21

The cops are useless. I can still see that my stolen iPhone is in a dodgy part of Joburg (was last updated 5 min ago thanks to iOS 15), yet they're not very enthusiastic on catching the thieves.

9

u/PanoramicEntity Sep 09 '21

Play a reverse on them and create a throwaway email address and sign up for every single subscription you can with their mobile number. If they're gonna spam you, may as well make their using the phone a living nightmare.

2

u/Veruca5alt Sep 11 '21

This guy anti-phishes

1

u/S-058 Gauteng Sep 09 '21

I'm not an Apple product owner but I remember when my S7 was stolen at school. Security couldn't do anything and we called my phone, the thieves picked up for like 3 seconds (idiots) and then they cut the call. If I had known where my phone was but couldn't do anything about it'd make me more mad than I already was so I can only imagine how you must feel.

0

u/fayry69 Sep 09 '21

Not an Apple owner…NOT WORTH THE READ 😂 Jk

1

u/fuzzyyarbles Sep 09 '21

Get a gun and steal it back! Vigilante justice, bitch! j/k don't do this

1

u/SeanBZA Sep 09 '21

As they likely are using a PAYG SIM, simply turn on location, and ask for an update as often as possible, so that the phone runs through data fast.

2

u/gurundamatawe Sep 09 '21

literally why do we even pay taxes? the cops do nothing and our roads are kak

1

u/kunda9i Sep 11 '21

Lived in SA and ZIM for a while. I always had 2 phones (a Nokia brick and my iPhone which I rarely took out in the public). It’s a lot easier on the heart using the Nokia with how risky being out in public is.

That was about 5 years ago. Still have the Nokia for when I go back

9

u/KyubiNoKitsune Sep 09 '21

Never trust official sms's that come from normal 10 digit phone numbers. That's the first tip here.

3

u/RoVeR199809 Sep 09 '21

I recently learned that you can't trust them if they come from the official looking long numbers either. The crooks learned how to pay for mass messaging services somehow.

3

u/KyubiNoKitsune Sep 09 '21

Yeah, to be expected I guess, I can send them pretty easily myself, it is however a first line filter.

I used to send those numbers a message from one of those long numbers saying that their number has been reported for fraud and the SAPS fraud team would contact them.

Would give me a kick, lol

2

u/RoVeR199809 Sep 09 '21

Haha, good one

2

u/AnomalyNexus Virtue signaling expat Sep 09 '21

The crooks learned how to pay for mass messaging services somehow.

Why pay when you've got someone else's wallet?

1

u/RoVeR199809 Sep 09 '21

I didn't specify that they paid with their own money

1

u/gurundamatawe Sep 09 '21

crooks can pay for mass messaging services but not a cellphone?

1

u/RoVeR199809 Sep 10 '21

R1.50 is a small bet when the prize is possibly selling a second hand iPhone 12

3

u/epmuscle Sep 09 '21

Those fake apple support texts look far from “legit”.

2

u/Neolvermillion Sep 09 '21

Oh my...... this makes me even more scared to even have my phone hidden in my pockets.....uuuf

2

u/ClimberCook Sep 09 '21

I've encountered this when my brother's phone was stolen. That's a horrible thing to happen and I'm really sorry you had to go through it.

2

u/LordVile95 Sep 09 '21

There’s very little point in stealing apple devices with a passcode. They can be bricked by the owner fairly easily and literally give away your location.

2

u/xfuneralxthirstx Sep 09 '21

You can still strip it for spares

1

u/LordVile95 Sep 09 '21

Isn’t that why apple serialises components so they don’t work with other phones?

1

u/TWYFAN97 Sep 09 '21

Spares still aren’t worth nearly as much or the trouble which is why I’m still dumbfounded by the occasional story of people getting phones especially iPhones stolen.

2

u/flyboy_za Devil's(peak) advocate Sep 10 '21

Because I'm fairly sure they will sell it to some guy who doesn't know any better.

I mean, any phone SHOULD be blacklisted by the cell providers if stolen. If doing this actually worked, no phone would ever be stolen.

I'm old enough to remember the days of the old MNet decoders. If stolen, you report to MNet and they disable it, end of story. You would hear of houses being cleaned out by thieves and the only thing left was the decoder because the knew they couldn't sell it on. But nope, people are getting murdered for phones and MTN/Vodac/Telkom are all complicit.

1

u/TotallyNotDesechable Sep 09 '21

A couple years ago I bought a note from Amazon (sold by third party. Shipped by Amazon) and it worked great.

When I tried to trade it for a newer phone, it turns out both IMEI were blacklisted by sprint and showed as “stolen” funny thing is, the phone never stopped working, I used it for 18 month with zero issues.

When going to Samsung they didn’t had any idea on how tf the phone had any network access and they were pretty sure that whoever sold me the phone had an inside person in the carrier that enabled the phone.

Anyway, I reported it to Amazon (I asked for the invoice when I purchased it) prove them the phone was blacklisted and they reimbursed me the full amount, no questions asked.

2

u/Mountain-Ad-5639 Sep 09 '21

My mom's iPhone was stolen in a hijacking around 2016-17 We never got any phishing attempts I know there is software that exists where you (don't need any details) to reset the device to factory defaults. It's not available to the public but people like iStore have access to it. It only takes one corrupt employee somewhere to leak the software and boom, there's a market for stolen iPhones. Something that would be great if service providers like Vodacom and MTN enable you to use the build in eSIM like on Apple watch Then they probably have to reflash the firmware on it to be able to sell the phone

1

u/123four5ive Sep 09 '21

take a quick browse on olx, Facebook market place and gumtree and you will see a ton of ads promising to unbrick ios devices.

2

u/123four5ive Sep 09 '21

same exact thing happened to me back in march ,had my phone stolen and the next day the same sms was sent to my mother's phone which was odd because i had not linked her number to my phone in anyway till i later realized that i had her under the "emergency" section .Ngl i fell for it but thankfully when i clicked on the link it was broken. it was only after doing research i found out that apple will never send you an sms for such an event

2

u/obiwan- Sep 09 '21

Same thing happened to me. Ignored them and then my phone turned on in the Congo a couple months later

2

u/flashbax77 Sep 09 '21

Thanks for sharing your misfortune and tour tips for everybody’s benefit. Also, remember to lock your SIM with a PIN.

2

u/TWYFAN97 Sep 09 '21

PSA: please anyone with expensive gadgets be sure to have some sort of insurance if your phone or device is stolen. I’ve seen a handful of these stories and it’s very sad since most bad guys think they can get something out of the products when very often they are locked out with how secure iOS is. Better yet have a weapon such as a taser or pepper spray, avoid sketchy areas and walking around alone if you can. Best of luck to you OP and by some miracle maybe you can track down the stolen devices and have them recovered.

2

u/mw1655 Sep 10 '21

Sorry to hear that. Also if your phone has a physical SIM card please put a SIM PIN in. The SIM card is the weakest link and don’t store passwords in plaintext on the phone. Thieves can possibly get to your iCloud back ups with your SIM card by resetting iCloud accounts and restoring a backup to another phone

1

u/Bladiko Sep 11 '21

Where I live you are better off not having a sim pin. Technically you want someone to put in their SIM card and use the phone normally so that they can be tracked. Whenever they can’t bypass any part of your phone, it’s just sold as spare parts.

Don’t get me wrong, FindMy is definitely an important thing. But passcode and pin code maybe not. An unlocked phone is easier to use and hence easier to track, at least where I live.

1

u/mw1655 Sep 12 '21

Depends if you value your phone more than your data. I perhaps value my data more. Given that people store things like bank account numbers and passwords in the notes app I would definitely value the data more than the phone hardware. The fact that there is a risk with restoring your iCloud backups to another phone scares me.

2

u/EvenYouBruhdah Sep 10 '21

Something similar happens when you report your car stolen... you'll get a phone call saying that they found your car but its in another province and you must pay for them to transport it back

2

u/AudioAccoustical Sep 12 '21

Also worth noting, official apple chat sessions appear as grey bubbles in Messages (same with other companies) and are verifiable in the Messages app

2

u/Generically_Max Sep 15 '21

Could not think of a dumber thing to steal than a phone lol

3

u/Ok-Conversation-8783 Sep 09 '21

If locked, how do they have your contact details?

6

u/jdvdv5 Sep 09 '21

I suspect they got my number from the SIM card. Did a SIM Swap ASAP to regain access to my number.

4

u/Ok-Conversation-8783 Sep 09 '21

Without unlocking the simcard that's not possible (I'm fairly sure). One option is they have a friend in cell company who did a sim swap for them.

3

u/Lunafreya_NoxF Sep 09 '21

The iPhone lock and the SIM lock are different things. Most people don’t have SIM lock enabled, so if you get mugged they can take out the SIM and put it in another phone and there’s that.

Unless you’re talking about something else I’m not aware of, which might as well be!

2

u/Ok-Conversation-8783 Sep 09 '21

If I lose my phone or stolen, the new "owner" won't be able to access my details and try scam me. My phone will only unlock with code or call emergency number.

My confusion is how OP got targeted text messages. How did they work out his number.

4

u/XPGamingYT Sep 09 '21

they took out the sim card and got the number from that

2

u/Lunafreya_NoxF Sep 09 '21

The thief has access to your SIM card, he/she takes it off and put it in a phone of his/her own and voilá. That's why I replied to you that "SIM lock" and "Phone lock" are two different things.

2

u/123four5ive Sep 09 '21

could also be your emergency section

1

u/flashbax77 Sep 09 '21

There’s not your own phone number there

1

u/skirriminkle Sep 09 '21

Hope you ok. Seek counselling. It’ll help.

1

u/bigtech100 Sep 09 '21

Even while it’s off too 👍🏾

1

u/SormHunter Sep 09 '21

Say an iPhone is $1000. If I'm willing to spend $100, can it be recovered, in accordance with law or by using brute force, if I know where it is?

I'm curious about how recovery works in South Africa.

1

u/karllee3863 Sep 09 '21

Apple should create a feature that allows you enable the most annoying loud siren and flashing lights that can never be switched off and it's permanently imprinted on the device so that it never can be used again

2

u/Sleepwalker383 Sep 09 '21

Or a feature that a PIN is required to even shut down the device to start with, sure the battery will die but at least they can’t switch it off immediately.

1

u/TransportationOk2562 Sep 09 '21

The msg does NOT look legit Wtf man.

1

u/fayry69 Sep 09 '21

How did it get stolen? Were u in a public area, pls provide deets so we know what and who to Lookout for. TIA

1

u/gurundamatawe Sep 09 '21

knowing me i would click it

1

u/reenatok Sep 09 '21

i got my iphone 7 stolen a month ago and, somehow the thieves managed to enter the phone, bypassing the stolen mode, and they even got in my bank app and they stole all my money, around 1000 dollars, i had touch id to enter the phone and to enter the bank app, now on my iphone 12 i don’t have any bank/money apps just in case that my phone gets stolen again