Sumary of 7 in 10 consumers in India encountered tech support scams last year, highest globally: Microsoft:
- New Delhi, July 22 India witnessed a relatively high rate of tech support scams at 69 per cent in the last 12 months—among the highest globally—with a significant increase seen in such scams stemming from unsolicited calls, a Microsoft survey said on Thursday.
- Microsoft commissioned YouGov for this global survey in 16 countries, including India, Australia, Japan and Singapore, and it included 16,254 adult internet users (about 1,000 per country).
- This is a follow-up to similar surveys that Microsoft fielded in 2018 and 2016. About 48 per cent of the respondents in India were tricked into continuing with the scam – an eight-point increase from 2018, and three times higher than the global average (16 per cent).
- Microsoft said the high number of people falling victim to scams is likely due to consumers in India being more trusting of unsolicited contact and more inclined to believe that a company would initiate contact.
- In contrast, global scam encounter rates for unsolicited calls fell from 27 per cent in 2018 to 25 per cent in 2021. Microsoft said each month, it receives about 6,500 complaints globally from people who have been the victim of a tech support scam, which is down from 13,000 reports in an average month in prior years.
- 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,” Mary Jo Schrade, Assistant General Counsel (Regional Lead) at Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit Asia, said in a virtual briefing.
- The Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) is working to help combat this issue by partnering with law enforcement, strengthening technology and educating consumers.
- Microsoft has been fighting against tech support scams since 2014 and has supported law enforcement officials to take legal action against scammers over the years across geographies like the US and India.