Dodgy iPhone social media advert exposed'£1 iPhone' trap uncovered by National eCrime team

11 September 2015

Choosing the best iPhone

Criminals are trying to flood social media platforms with misleading adverts and bogus offers to exploit the hype around the new iPhone 6s.

The warning comes from the National Trading Standards eCrime team, after the Citizens Advice consumer helpline received complaints from members of the public about misleading offers for the new phone.

We’ve produced a number of guides you can use to identify and avoid scams and fraudulent behaviour.

The £1 iPhone trap

One advert in particular targets UK consumers, leading them to a web page made to look like a BBC News story that announces a 'flash sale' on the new phone.

This attempt to capitalise on the launch of the iPhone 6s tries to entice people into making a small payment to access the offer before trapping them into costly monthly payments which can be difficult to stop.

Anyone trying to take up this offer would be entered into a prize draw with little chance of winning, and would end up unwittingly signing up to a recurring monthly payment of £74.

Customers are completely unaware of signing up to this large monthly payment as this information is buried in the small print.

Social media adverts

The Trading Standards eCrime team has warned that this trap misuses online advertising and continuous payment authorities in a bid to take money from people’s accounts without their informed consent.

National co-ordinator for the National Trading Standards eCrime team Mike Andrews said: ‘We are worried that criminals are using social media advertising more and more.

‘The popular appeal of products such as iPhones and iPads could lure victims into traps.We don’t want people swept up by the hype surrounding the launch of this new product to be caught out in this way. 

‘Always be suspicious of any offer that looks extremely cheap, particularly if you see it in social media or online advert.’

Don't fall for these adverts - make sure you know what these dodgy deals look like: below left is the Facebook advert and below right is an example of the misleading news story.

 One pound iPhone trap screenshots 
More on this...