Edinburgh MP tells how he nearly fell victim to fraud after routine overnight phone update

EDINBURGH South MP Ian Murray has told how his mobile phone was left more or less unusable and he nearly fell victim to an elaborate fraud after a routine software update.

Thursday, 10th October 2019, 06:00 am
Ian Murray say he was not the only one whose phone was effectively disabled by the automatic update.

He said other people had contacted him with similar complaints and he tweeted Apple asking if it was a deliberate ploy to get customers to buy new phones.

He posted: “Hi @Apple. Since the latest software update I’ve had my credit card defrauded, my Apple Pay compromised, outlook doesn’t work, most of my apps are malfunctioning & battery drains. Is this u forcing me to get a new phone? Given constituent correspondence I appear not to be alone.”

Mr Murray said his iPhone 7 had updated automatically overnight on Sunday. “On Monday morning my Amex card defrauded - they got the information from my phone. My Apple Pay was defrauded because they tried to add others cards to it so they could defraud it. My calendar doesn’t work, my other apps don’t work, my Outlook barely works, I can’t type on my screen. It’s almost disabled my entire phone.”

In 2017 Apple admitted deliberately slowing down some ageing iPhones - they said it was to "prolong the life" of the devices.

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He said the attempted fraud on his Amex card began when he received a message about a large transaction.

“I got a text from what purported to be Amex saying there was a £1000 transaction going through to a company called Coinstar and was this a legitimate transaction.

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“So I phoned up Amex and cancelled all my cards. Seemingly what they had done was they got in through Apple Pay - my card is attached to Apple Pay.

“It’s very alarming - and easy for people to be taken in by it. I was just quite lucky I asked a few questions I knew they wouldn’t be able to answer if they weren’t the proper Amex.”

He said constituents had contacted him about problems they had experienced following the same update.

“One just can’t get their phone to work at all now, another can’t access anything and another lost emails and calendars, photos and all sorts.”

Mr Murray recalled that in 2017 Apple had admitted deliberately slowing down ageing iPhones. It said this was to “prolong the life” of the devices but customers claimed it was to encourage them to upgrade.

Mr Murray said: “The same could be happening again.”

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.