Fraud Alerts/PSAs

August 11, 2017: Mailed Cell Phones Never Returned in Malware Removal Scam

Malware Removal Scam Graphic


A caller to a mobile phone warns of malware infecting the device but instead of removing the virus, the scammer manages to convince the victim to send him the phone.

In the Malware Removal Scam, an unsolicited caller identifying himself as a representative of a cell phone provider tells the person that a problem has been detected on their device. The caller, often describing normal cell-phone issues, persuades the victim that the phone has malware and should be repaired.

The scammer provides an address where the consumer can mail the phone to have the malware removed. The crooks even request the device’s password claiming their tech experts need it to complete the repair. 

The phone is mailed and never seen again. The data in the device is stolen and the phone is sold to an unsuspecting user.


  • If you are experiencing problems with your electronic device, contact your cell phone company or authorized dealer
  • If you receive a call claiming your phone has been infected with malware, hang up and call your cell-phone provider directly to verify
  • Do not share your passwords or other personal information with unsolicited callers

Report fraud to the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs at (800) 593-8222 or


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