Do not trust "Your iPhone has been located" text message

Also Known As: Your iPhone has been located text message scam
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to avoid being scammed through the "Your iPhone has been located" text message

What is "Your iPhone has been located"?

Scammers behind this phishing scam use deceptive text messages to trick recipients into providing credentials via a fake iCloud website. They disguise their text messages as coming from Apple Support. Note that the Apple company (or support service) has nothing do to with this scam. We strongly recommend that you ignore this text message and, more importantly, do not enter any credentials (e.g., your Apple ID, password or other details) into this fake iCloud page.

Your iPhone has been located scam

The scammers behind this phishing scam attempt to steal personal information that could be misused to generate revenue in various ways. Stolen Apple IDs can be used to access App Store, Apple Music, iCloud, Find My iPhone and other services. I.e., they could be misused to make fraudulent in-app purchases, access security settings, subscriptions, and blackmail victims by stealing files photos and other data stored in iCloud. They might also prevent legitimate users from using their devices by resetting passwords, creating accounts in the victim's name, selling Apple IDs on dark web/forums, and so on. In any case, having an Apple ID stolen could lead to various problems relating to privacy, financial loss, identity theft, and other issues. For these reasons these text messages, unofficial Apple pages, etc., should never be trusted. Scam websites are often opened through deceptive advertisements, other untrusted websites or potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) that are installed on browsers and/or operating systems.

Threat Summary:
Name Your iPhone has been located text message scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam.
Fake Claim Scammers claim that recipients iPhone has been located.
Symptoms Your device becomes slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you are redirected to dubious websites.
Distribution methods Text messages.
Damage Stolen Apple ID, loss of money, data (files, photos and other data), private information, blocked access to a device, and other serious problems.
Malware Removal (Mac)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your Mac with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
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Some examples of other phishing scams are "Congratulations You Are Todays Winner", "YOU ARE THE CHOSEN!" and "SPECIAL AWARD FROM OUR SPONSORS". Typically, scammers behind them attempt to deceive unsuspecting visitors into providing sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card details, and other details that could be misused to generate revenue. If your browser opens scam pages regularly, it is probably forced to do so by an installed PUA.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

In most cases, people download and/or install PUAs when they are distributed by including them into the download/installation set-ups of other software. This distribution method of potentially unwanted software is called "bundling". Generally, offers to download and/or install additional apps can be found in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings of the set-ups. Unfortunately, many people leave these settings unchanged, thereby agreeing by default with offers to download or install any additionally-included apps. PUAs are sometimes downloaded and installed by clicking deceptive ads that run certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

All programs and files should be downloaded from official pages and through direct links. Third party downloaders (installers), Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), unofficial websites, etc., should not be used to download or install software. Check all settings of the download and installation set-ups (e.g. "Advanced", "Custom") for offers to download and/or install additional, unwanted apps. Dismiss any such offers before completing the download and installation. It is not safe to click advertisements that are displayed on dubious websites, since they often open untrusted pages or cause download/installation of unwanted applications. These ads are sometimes displayed on legitimate pages as well. Remove any suspicious, unwanted plug-ins, add-ons and extensions already installed on the browser immediately. The same should be applied to programs of this kind that are installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Text in this phishing scam:

Your iPhone XR Blue 128GB has been located today. Check location at hxxps://www-lCloud.com/?location=63f85
Apple Support

Screenshot of a fake iCloud website:

your iphone has been located phishing scam website

Instant automatic Mac malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Mac malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner for Mac By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited three days free trial available.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to remove adware and browser hijackers from a Mac computer:

Potentially unwanted applications removal:

Remove potentially unwanted applications from your "Applications" folder:

mac browser hijacker removal from applications folder

Click the Finder icon. In the Finder window, select "Applications". In the applications folder, look for "MPlayerX", "NicePlayer", or other suspicious applications and drag them to the Trash. After removing the potentially unwanted application(s) that cause online ads, scan your Mac for any remaining unwanted components.

Remove your iphone has been located text message scam related files and folders:

Finder go to folder command

Click the Finder icon, from the menu bar. Choose Go, and click Go to Folder...

step1Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/LaunchAgents folder:

removing adware from launch agents folder step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchAgents

removing adware from launch agents folder step 2
In the “LaunchAgents” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by adware - “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”, etc. Adware commonly installs several files with the same string.

step2Check for adware generated files in the /Library/Application Support folder:

removing adware from application support folder step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/Application Support

removing adware from application support folder step 2
In the “Application Support” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious folders. For example, “MplayerX” or “NicePlayer”, and move these folders to the Trash.

step3Check for adware-generated files in the ~/Library/LaunchAgents folder:

removing adware from ~launch agents folder step 1


In the Go to Folder bar, type: ~/Library/LaunchAgents

removing adware from ~launch agents folder step 2

In the “LaunchAgents” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by adware - “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”, etc. Adware commonly installs several files with the same string.

step4Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/LaunchDaemons folder:

removing adware from launch daemons folder step 1
In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchDaemons

removing adware from launch daemons folder step 2
In the “LaunchDaemons” folder, look for recently-added suspicious files. For example “com.aoudad.net-preferences.plist”, “com.myppes.net-preferences.plist”, "com.kuklorest.net-preferences.plist”, “com.avickUpd.plist”, etc., and move them to the Trash.

step 5 Scan your Mac with Combo Cleaner:

If you have followed all the steps in the correct order you Mac should be clean of infections. To be sure your system is not infected run a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus. Download it HERE. After downloading the file double click combocleaner.dmg installer, in the opened window drag and drop Combo Cleaner icon on top of the Applications icon. Now open your launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon. Wait until Combo Cleaner updates it's virus definition database and click "Start Combo Scan" button.

scan-with-combo-cleaner-1

Combo Cleaner will scan your Mac for malware infections. If the antivirus scan displays "no threats found" - this means that you can continue with the removal guide, otherwise it's recommended to remove any found infections before continuing.

scan-with-combo-cleaner-2

After removing files and folders generated by the adware, continue to remove rogue extensions from your Internet browsers.

Your iPhone has been located text message scam removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove your iphone has been located text message scam related Safari extensions:

safari browser preferences

Open Safari browser, from the menu bar, select "Safari" and click "Preferences...".

safari extensions window

In the preferences window, select "Extensions" and look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions. When located, click the "Uninstall" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Safari browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Safari.

firefox browser iconRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Remove your iphone has been located text message scam related Mozilla Firefox add-ons:

accessing mozilla firefox add-ons

Open your Mozilla Firefox browser. At the top right corner of the screen, click the "Open Menu" (three horizontal lines) button. From the opened menu, choose "Add-ons".

removing malicious add-ons from mozilla firefox

Choose the "Extensions" tab and look for any recently-installed suspicious add-ons. When located, click the "Remove" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Mozilla Firefox browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Mozilla Firefox.

chrome-browser-iconRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Remove your iphone has been located text message scam related Google Chrome add-ons:

removing malicious google chrome extensions step 1

Open Google Chrome and click the "Chrome menu" (three horizontal lines) button located in the top-right corner of the browser window. From the drop-down menu, choose "More Tools" and select "Extensions".

removing malicious Google Chrome extensions step 2

In the "Extensions" window, look for any recently-installed suspicious add-ons. When located, click the "Trash" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Google Chrome browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Google Chrome.

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Your iPhone has been located text message scam QR code
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