Millennials most susceptible to tech support scams in India: Microsoft survey
According to Microsoft's 2021 Global Tech Support Scam Research report, consumers in India experienced a relatively high scam encounter rate of 69% in the previous 12 months while globally there was an overall five-point drop in scam encounters with a rate of 59% over the same period.
Seven out of 10 consumers in India were targeted by a tech support scammer in the last 12 months, with millennials and males being the hardest hit, according to a new Microsoft survey of 16 countries including four Asia Pacific markets - India, Australia, Japan and Singapore.
According to Microsoft's 2021 Global Tech Support Scam Research report, consumers in India experienced a relatively high scam encounter rate of 69% in the previous 12 months while globally there was an overall five-point drop in scam encounters with a rate of 59% over the same period. In India, almost half (48%) of those surveyed were likely to be tricked into continuing with the scam regardless of the type.
In 2021, millennials (aged 24-37) were the most susceptible to such scams, with 58% of those that continued with the scam incurring a monetary loss, followed by Generation Z at 24%.
Findings reveal that compared to the rest of the world, consumers in India are more likely to be targeted, less inclined to ignore scam interactions, and as a result, lose more money. There is an urgent need for consumers to understand this threat and to protect themselves from such scams.
Here are the key India-specific findings of the survey:
- Incidences of unsolicited call scams increased from 23% to 31% in India between 2018 to 2021, and this continues to be the scam type that consumers in India respond to most often, with almost half (45%) of those surveyed continuing and taking recommended actions from the scammer.
- Indian consumers who lost money to such scams in 2021 lost Rs 15,334 on average. While most of them (88%) were able to recover some money back, several consumers (77%) also experienced non-monetary impacts like severe or moderate levels of stress.
- Males were also identified to be the hardest hit and most likely to have lost money because of such scams. 73% of males who continued with such tech support scams in 2021 lost money in the interaction compared to 27% of females.
Microsoft recommends the following tips to avoid scams:
- Be suspicious of pop-up messages and avoid calling the number or clicking on the link in any pop-ups received.
- Download software only from official company websites or the Microsoft Store.
- If you think you may have been the victim of a Tech Support Scam, report your experience at www.microsoft.com/reportascam and also file reports with law enforcement authorities