Fraudsters who pretend to be support staff from Microsoft, for example, lurk on websites, in social networks or on the telephone at home, as many readers have probably already experienced firsthand. The process is always similar: the victim is led to believe that there is a serious problem on their computer, and if they can be caught off guard, they actually get one. As a result, there is rip-off and blackmail as well as the theft of passwords and credit card data.
Almost two-thirds of all computer users have experienced a support scam at some point. The number of victims has decreased compared to 2018, as a study commissioned by Microsoft shows. However, the problem is still serious and damage runs into the millions.
In the current survey, 60 per cent of those questioned stated that they had had contact with a support scammer in the past 12 months. The fraudsters’ success rate has fallen significantly, as many users have now been informed and are reacting accordingly suspiciously. On average, however, every sixth person falls for the scam.
Microsoft receives around 6,500 complaints each month from people who fall for support scammers and contact Microsoft because they believe the call was official. Compared to previous years, this number has halved, which, according to Microsoft, has to do with the fact that the scammers now appear on behalf of many different companies.