Tech-Support Scams on the Rise, Microsoft and the FBI Say

New Microsoft statistics reveal that the Windows operating system was continuously targeted by tech-support scams in 2017. More precisely, Microsoft recently reported that it received 153,000 reports from users who were targeted by tech-support scammers via the phone or the web. These reports were up 20% in comparison with 2016, with statistics gathered from 183 countries.

What is mostly concerning is that, despite being a well-known threat, 15% of the customers that filed report lost actual money, with an average sum of $200-$400 per scam. One user report, however, stands out. Apparently, a Microsoft customer in the Netherlands had his bank account completely drained. The unfortunate individual lost $109,000 after he was approached by tech-support scammers.

The FBI received 11,000 tech-support scam complaints in 2017 alone

Windows is not the only operating system favored by these scammers. There are plenty of reports regarding macOS, iOS, and Android. On top of that, the FBI recently said it had received 11,000 complaints on tech-support shams in 2017 alone, adding that financial losses reached $15 million. This is 86% more than the losses reported in 2016 from victims in 80 countries.

Why are tech-support scams so successful?

One reason that comes to mind is the variety of approaches and techniques scammers use to lure their victims. They often use Microsoft’s name, claiming they are representatives of the tech giant, but other big company names are also leveraged.

A new trend recently noticed by the FBI is retargeting tech-support scam victims by posing as government officials or law enforcement. Scammers are luring victims by offering them assistance in recovering lost funds.

Last year, Roger Anderson from the Jolly Roger Telephone Company, found a way to start a war on tech-support scammers, making (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from How to, Technology and PC Security Forum authored by Milena Dimitrova. Read the original post at: