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.


Devdiscourse News Desk | New Delhi | Updated: 22-07-2021 14:18 IST | Created: 22-07-2021 14:18 IST
Millennials most susceptible to tech support scams in India: Microsoft survey
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. Image Credit: Pixabay
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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.

Mary Jo Schrade, Assistant General Counsel, Regional Lead, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit Asia.

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.

Recommendations

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
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