Apple users have been experiencing an increasing number of unwanted spam FaceTime group calls. These calls are initiated by people the users have never met and have been reported to come in at all hours of the day, even in the middle of the night.
Ars Technica first reported on a lengthy Apple Support forum page, where users began vocalizing their frustrations and independent experiences. Throughout the strenuous 10-page thread, users describe similar encounters. Due to the settings and customization options behind FaceTime, a user can block a number but it does not prevent that number from initiating another group call through FaceTime. Some users have described an event where they answer, realize what’s happening, hang up and immediately get hit with another call.
One user quickly describes there experience and said:
“I answered it because it’s a work phone and I’m on call. When I did, several video boxes popped up and they did have video in it. No people, just looked like walls with some art. When I realized what it was, I hung up and it called back 11 more times.”
Another jumped in and told their story:
“This happened to me. First call came in at 12:57 am and continued until 2 am. Two people were registered in contacts from a soccer team I was on. I thought I was added to some group chat by them accidentally. I messaged one and found out she was another victim. I turned my phone on airplane mode and when I woke up, I received 5 more calls. I was really done at that point and called Apple Support and was transferred to Tech Support. Received very few suggestions there other than talking to the complaint assistance at FDC. I also received a text message from one callers in a group chat with 28 other numbers. The word I was able to make out was definitely concerning. I’m ready to change my phone number.”
Taking a look at the Apple Support forum, this is not a new occurance as some complaints date back all the way to March 2020. Hopefully, Apple begins to work on a perminent solution. Currently, Apple Support is not able provide a solution to block or otherwise halt any possible FaceTime spam call.
It’s advised that if a user does begin to recieve these types of calls to turn FaceTime off via the iOS settings and not engage with the caller. Some users have vocalized that following a week or so with FaceTime turned off, the spam calls stopped coming in. It could be that the spammers get tired of waiting for engagement and move on to other numbers.