New Delhi: Nearly seven out of 10 consumers in India were targeted by a tech support scammer in the last 12 months, a report released by Microsoft on Thursday said, as per IANS. The report titled ‘2021 Global Tech Support Scam Research’ looks at tech support scams and their impact on consumers. It is based on a global survey, commissioned by YouGov, of 16 countries, including four Asia Pacific markets — India, Australia, Japan, and Singapore.Also Read - Tokyo Olympics 2021 LIVE Updates: India's Historic Men's Hockey S/F Gets Underway

The findings showed that consumers in India experienced a relatively high scam encounter rate of 69 percent in the last 12 months. In contrast, there was an overall five-point drop in scam encounters globally with a rate of 59 percent over the same period. Almost half of the consumers surveyed in India (48 percent) were tricked into continuing with the scam, three times higher than the global average (16 percent). Also Read - Live India vs Belgium Men's Hockey Semi-final Score And Updates Tokyo Olympics: India Eye Spot in Final

Further, millennials (58 percent) and males (73 percent) were found to be most susceptible to losing money from scams. Also Read - Horoscope Today, August 3, Tuesday: Luck Will be in Taurus, Virgo And Aries' Court Today

Unsolicited call scams, which increased from 23 percent to 31 percent in India between 2018 to 2021, continue to be the scam type that consumers in India respond to most often.

Tech Fraudsters Targeted Indians More

Consumers in India lost Rs 15,334 on average to scams in 2021, of which Rs 10,797 was recovered. The most common methods of payment for those who lost any money were through bank transfers (43 percent), followed by gift cards (38 percent), PayPal (32 percent), credit cards (32 percent), and Bitcoin (25 percent).

“Tech support scams are perpetrated globally and target people of all ages. The 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,” said Mary Jo Schrade, Assistant General Counsel, Regional Lead, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit Asia, in a statement.

“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,” she added.

Microsoft recommends consumers to be suspicious of pop-up messages on the computer, and not to call the number or click on the link in any pop-ups received. Consumers must download software only from official company websites and be wary of downloading software from third-party sites, the company said. Lists Some Online Safety Tips To Keep Yourself Secure

1. Do not click on any random pop-up on your screen (mobile/laptop)
2. According to the report, financial information continues to be at risk. Avoid money transfers or payments from public wifi or insecure internet.
3. Do not download or click on any link, it can be a potential threat that takes access to your data
4. Do not click on anything that looks too good to be true

Read Full Report: Global Tech Support Scam Research By Microsoft

(IANS Inputs)