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Study: Millennials Most Likely to Fall Victim to Tech Support Scams


Tech support scams plague the globe

According to a recent Microsoft survey, millennials are the most likely age group to fall prey to tech support scams.

The tech giant conducted the survey in the summer months of 2016. Its Digital Crimes Unit released results of the survey as part of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM).

All told, about 67 percent of survey respondents revealed contact with a possible tech support scam in the previous 12 months. And of all respondents, 10 percent admitted to losing money on such scams.

But it’s the age breakdown that revealed the most surprising results.

Younger age group fell prey more often

Results of the survey revealed that of those contacted, about 20 percent continued on to a potentially fraudulent interaction. These interactions included downloading software, visiting a specific website, allowed remote access of a computer, etc.

Millennials, ages 18 to 34, were most likely to continue on, doing so at a rate of 55 percent. In comparison, only 17 percent aged 55 and older continued on, and 34 percent between the ages of 36 and 54 continued on.

Reasons for the differences among age groups

According to Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit, millennials falling prey more often is not as surprising as at first glance.

This is because of the evolution of scamming tactics. While fraudsters used to initiate contact via telephone often, other methods of contact now prevail. New methods include pop-ups, unsolicited email and scam websites. These additional entry points are more likely to hit younger audiences.

Survey respondents came from the U.S., the UK, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, South Africa, and other locations. Microsoft urged any consumers who encounter a possible tech support scam to visit the FTC site to report it to appropriate authorities or contact them directly.