Microsoft says it received 153,000 reports in 2017 from customers who’d come in contact with tech-support scammers via a cold call, spam, or the web. The reports from customers last year were up 24 percent on 2016, with filings coming from 183 countries. Despite being a well-known fraud, some 15 percent of Microsoft customers who reported incidents lost money. Losses were typically between $200 and $400 each.
As noted by Windows Defender research project manager, Erik Wahlstrom, Microsoft’s figures only reflect part of the tech-support scam problem, which also targets macOS, iOS, and Android. The FBI in March reported it had received 11,000 tech-support fraud complaints in 2017 from victims in over 80 countries, with claimed losses totaling nearly $15m, up 86 percent on reported losses in 2016.
Read more about tech-support scams and how you can avoid falling victim to them on ZDNet.