Tech support scams are a problem worldwide, with 3 out of 5 people globally having experienced one in the past year and 1 in 5 losing money to fraudsters, according to the Tech Support Scam Survey 2018 released by Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit in October 2018, which is an update to the version released in 2016. These sophisticated scams are evolving from cold calls to fake online pop-up ads and fraudulent websites – and affect everyone, even savvy online users like millennials and Gen Zers. Additionally, the cost of these scams goes beyond monetary loss, with people reporting higher stress levels after dealing with this type of fraud.
And India is not immune. However, since 2016, India is experiencing fewer tech support scams, with 68% in 2018 versus 80% in 2016.
Of those surveyed:
- 40% of people in India continued with the scam (versus 54% in 2016)
- 28% of people in India ignored the scam (versus 26% in 2016)
- 14% of people in India continued with the scam and lost money (versus 22% in 2016)
- 84% of people in India experienced severe/moderate stress levels after experiencing scam
Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit has been working to combat this type of global cybercrime by:
- Using a data-driven approach to investigate tech support fraud networks and refer cases to law enforcement as appropriate
- Strengthening its products and services to better protect consumers from various fraudulent tactics
- Educating consumers about how to stay safe online
While these scams are not going away, the best thing you can do to help protect yourself is to educate yourself. If you receive a notification or call from someone claiming to be from a reputable software company, here are a few key tips to keep in mind:
- Be wary of any unsolicited pop-up message on your device, don’t click on it, and don’t call the number.
- Microsoft will never proactively reach out to you to provide unsolicited PC or technical support. Any communication we have with you must be initiated by you.
- Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you are already a customer.
- If you’re ever unsure about whether or not Microsoft is trying to contact you, hang up and contact Microsoft directly at the Microsoft Answer Desk www.support.microsoft.com.
- 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, such as your local consumer protection authority
©Technuter.com News Service