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Microsoft: Tech Support Scams Are a Huge Problem


Two-thirds of consumers have experienced tech support scams

Tech giant Microsoft today released results of a global survey regarding tech support scams. Results point to the fact that these type of scams are a large and growing problem around the world.

According to Microsoft, approximately 2 of 3 people worldwide experienced some type of tech support scam in the last year. Not only that, but a surprisingly high percentage continued on to a potentially fraudulent transaction after initial contact.

The survey included respondents from across the globe: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Survey results

A number of surprising results surfaced following analysis of survey results:

  • About 20 percent of consumers continued on after first contact, e.g. downloaded software, visited a website, etc.
  • Nearly half of those who continued on fell in the younger age group of 18 and 34.
  • Only 17 percent who continued on fell into the older age group of 55 and above.
  • In the U.S., more than half (55 percent) of those who continued on admitted to losing money.
  • Almost 10 percent of respondents overall admitted to losing money in a tech support scam.

Survey results did not reveal a total dollar figure associated with these results. But with upwards of 70 percent of consumer across the globe impacted, and 1 in 10 respondents admitting to losing money, it’s safe to say the potential monetary loss could be huge.

Microsoft gathered results in summer 2016. Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit recently explained the details of the survey in full in a guest post on the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) blog. Microsoft also urged any consumers who encounter a suspected scam to contact them directly or contact other appropriate authorities.