Microsoft says free money scams are most commonly encountered

By on October 16, 2012, 8:30 AM

Microsoft has released results from a recent survey as part of a campaign to promote National Cyber Security Awareness Month. The questionnaire reveals that the phrase “Congratulation, you’ve won!” or something related to lottery winnings is the most popular line used to lure unsuspecting people to online scams.

It should come as little surprise that the promise of free money or getting something for nothing ranks highest in the list of most commonly encountered online scams at 44 percent. Fake antivirus alert scams that mimic real programs account for 40 percent, good for second place on the survey.

Phishing scams using fake emails that attempt to get user to click a link and emails claiming to be from a foreign person that needs help transferring a large sum of money are tied for third place at 39 percent each. Rounding out the top five online scams are work-from-home offers that promise to help you start your own business, encountered by 38 percent of respondents.

The survey points out that the average Internet user has encountered roughly eight different types of online scam. Most people, 62 percent surveyed, believe they wouldn’t fall victim to an online scam although only 12 percent said they felt fully protected. Survey-takers were most fearful of impersonation scams like fake antivirus alerts, phishing scams and work-from-home offers.

Microsoft offers up some common-sense tips to help keep yourself protected online like thinking before you click, looking for warning signs that an offer might be fake and cutting down on spam by only sharing your email address with friends, family and organizations you know and trust.




User Comments: 6

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Guest said:

The questionnaire reveals that the phrase "Congratulation, you've won!" or something related to lottery winnings is the most popular line used to lure unsuspecting people to online scams.

This Is also the first stuff to go Into my trash can.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

My trash can get over-bloated with scam emails. It has reached 1000 a day. It is filtered automatically, at least in 99% of all cases, but man, you can see how internet is wasted by scam.

Uneducated users don't stand a chance. Ignorance is on a prowl.

MilwaukeeMike said:

There's a big difference between the most common scam encountered and the most effective scam, I.e., the scam that fools the most people, althought the list is probably pretty similar.

BlueDrake said:

One really common thing I've seen for scams, have been the whole World of Warcraft phishing emails. I have my filter on max to catch anything, and then add what I need to my safe list. If something offers links in an email, the best thing is not only look for the "padlock" (HTTPS). Also look at the links to verify, if it's a true blue legit address. If need to be do a WHOIS checking, seeing as many fall for usually new websites.

Sometimes you see say.. battle.net in the email and think it's legit. It could be x.x.battle.net kind of method, which fools so many people. If possible I forward such phishing emails, to sites that want such phishing emails mostly for studying. I got at least 3 PayPal scam emails, it looks legit until you highlight the address. Which shows the scam address, when you click the link.

I'm always skeptical of emails. Especially from friends, when it looks pre-generated. There's no amount of caution I don't put into reading spam emails, when they don't look like legit emails to begin with. Could show say.. techspot.com in the email, but it could link to some foreign website. So I always catch the scammers, before I even make an effort to click a link.

Guest said:

The term "Internet Scams" commonly refers to any sort of scam scheme that uses a single or much far more on the net services to present fraudulent solicitations to prospective victims, to conduct fraudulent transactions, or to transmit the proceeds of fraud to monetary institutions or to others connected making use of the structure. Techspot makes it effortless for you to establish which websites are credible and who are scams.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Microsoft has released results from a recent survey as part of a campaign to promote National Cyber Security Awareness Month. The questionnaire reveals that the phrase "Congratulation, you've won!" or something related to lottery winnings is the most popular line...

Yes, and they're most often encountered by people who are still running M$'s IE-6....:eek:

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