Microsoft Survey Reveals 69% Consumers Witnessed Tech Support Scams In 2020

Microsoft Survey Reveals 69% Consumers Witnessed Tech Support Scams In 2020

Around 69% Consumers in India witnessed tech support scams in the last 12 months, similar to the 70% rate experienced in 2018, according to the Microsoft 2021 Global Tech Support Scam Research report.


In contrast, there was an overall five-point drop in scam encounters globally with a rate of 59% over the same period.


Nearly half of consumers surveyed in India (48%) were tricked into continuing with the scam – an eight‑point increase from 2018, and three times higher than the global average (16%). One in three (31%) of those surveyed continued engaging and eventually lost money, an increase of 17 points compared with 2018 (14%).


In India, Millennials (aged 24-37) were the most susceptible to such scams in 2021, with 58% of those that continued with the scam incurring monetary loss. 73% of males in India who proceeded to interact with a scammer were likely to lose money.


Each month, Microsoft receives about 6,500 complaints globally from people who have been the victim of a tech support scam; this is down from 13,000 reports in an average month in prior years. To better understand how the problem with tech support scams is evolving globally and to enhance efforts to educate consumers on how to stay safe online, Microsoft commissioned YouGov for this global survey in 16 countries, including four Asia Pacific markets – India, Australia, Japan and Singapore. This is a follow-up to similar surveys that Microsoft fielded in 2018 and 2016.


Mary Jo Schrade, Assistant General Counsel, Regional Lead, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit Asia said, “Tech support scams are perpetrated globally and target people of all ages. 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. Tactics used by fraudsters to victimize users online have evolved over time, from pure cold calling to more sophisticated ploys, such as fake “pop-ups” displayed on people’s computers. We are committed to online safety and hope to leverage the survey findings to better educate people so they can avoid becoming victims of these scams.”


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