A study conducted by Microsoft and released as part of the Cyber Security Awareness Month has found that the younger generation is far more likely to fall for online scams than the older generation because the young “are more trusting while using the internet.”
Microsoft’s study surveyed 12,000 people across 12 countries and found some pretty worrying results. In the 18-24 age group, about 13% have lost money in online and telephone scams just the past year; this figure goes up to one-in-five people for the 25-34 age group. Now compare these numbers to 3% for 65 and above age group – it is astonishing.
These figures are certainly not something to be proud of – and this is why Cyber Security Awareness Month is a thing – but at least they show us where the problem belongs. The study also reveals the most popular methods fraudsters use to scam money out of people – tech support scams.
The idea is to falsely inform random people about a virus or malware on their computers and other devices, after which the fraudsters ask them to install remote access software to fix these issues and gain access to their computers.
The study also reveals that the Internet is preferred by these fraudsters; “just 23% of 18 to 24-year-olds received an unsolicited phone call from criminals in the past year, rising to 29% for 25 to 34-year-olds. However, these figures jump to 50% and 49% respectively when those people were asked if they had been redirected to a scamming website.”
Governments and companies around the world fight these frauds everyday – just a few days ago, the Mumbai Police in India busted an “IRS Scam Centre” revealing one of the biggest scams in the recent years.
Microsoft itself has its own Digital Crimes Unit to investigate fraud and malicious activity reported by its consumers.
You can read more details about the study’s findings at Microsoft’s blog over here. There are some interesting statistics in there.