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Microsoft: millennials, not senior citizens, are more susceptible to tech support scams

By Shawn Knight ยท 12 replies
Oct 18, 2016
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  1. Senior citizens are often labeled as being the most vulnerable targets for fraudsters but new research from Microsoft challenges that preconceived notion.

    As part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, Microsoft conducted a global survey in which it found that a staggering two out of three people have experienced a tech support scam in the last 12 months. If you haven’t experienced such a scam yet, chances are you know someone who has.

    Of those surveyed, one in five continued with a potentially fraudulent interaction after first being contacted. What this means is that 20 percent of people visited a malicious website, downloaded dangerous software, gave a scammer remote access to their device or provided them with credit card information.

    Here’s where things get interesting. Of those that continued with a fraudulent interaction, only 17 percent were older than 55 while 34 percent were between the ages of 36 and 54. Surprisingly enough, half of millennials – those between the ages of 18 and 34 – continued with a fraudulent interaction.

    The reason that more millennials are falling victim to tech support scams is directly related to the evolving tactics used by fraudsters. Whereas most scams used to originate from phone calls, fraudsters these days are leveraging pop-ups, unsolicited e-mails and scam websites as entry points.

    Regardless of the method used to snare victims, the goal of tech support scams remains the same – use fear and deception to convince a user that they need help, obtain remote access to the user’s device and provide a phony sales pitch to convince victims to fork over money for unnecessary services.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,267   +895

    That someone knows how to turn on and off the computer and a phone doesn't make them smart, and certainly repeating "millennials" doesn't help either to that cause.
  3. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,892   +1,044

    If anything most PC millennials know less then my generation.
    Todays automated and easy to use technology makes it simple for users to float over the ocean without really knowing how to run the boat, or even have an understanding of how the tech operates.
    Elders are also on their devices MUCH less, and don't care to download free movies, music and porn, a youth thing, which are loaded with scams.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
    Evernessince and Duckeenie like this.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,219   +422

    I'd be willing to bet money if it could be proved... that the majority of these same people also believe all the BS fed to them by their local government.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
  5. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 551   +171

    Definitely not the trend I see I get way more older customers that have let the *****s on and let them lock down the pc then people my age.
  6. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Evangelist Posts: 600   +169

    "Microsoft conducted a global survey in which it found that a staggering two out of three people have experienced a tech support scam in the last 12 months."
    Since around 1/3 of all people have ZERO access to technology, I guess that means all the rest of us have been scammed? I wonder how many of those surveyed were in villages along the Amazon or little clusters of houses in Haiti (with no power access at all)? Did they do these surveys in person?

    Anyone else think this survey is complete and utter BS?
  7. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,045   +206

    "malicious website,"

    Of course more young people visit malicious sites, torrent sites are marked as malicious. Were they actually scammed? No, visiting a bad website and being scammed are 2 different things. The headline is misleading.
  8. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero TS Evangelist Posts: 423   +198

    You can blame apple for that. They want everyone in the mindset that "it just works" instead of learning basic troubleshooting skills. I guess this goes back to my generation where we tinkered with stuff to try and figure it out. This generation just has everything handed to them so they know very little.
  9. Fobus

    Fobus TS Enthusiast Posts: 64   +40

    Yeah, call bullshit on this.
    1. You need to take into account that a lot of older people don't even use technology, or it's so horribly outdated that vectors of attack are limited. You can't really scam via malicious website if that person only has a wired phone...
    2. You need to account for quantity of use. Ofc you'll run into more malicious stuff if you spend more time online.
    3. Definition of malicious website, dangerous software, etc is not even given. that's iffy. They really like to include torrents and the like and into this category.

    Doesn't mean it can't be true, just that it really didn't disprove the argument.
  10. Chesterfried

    Chesterfried TS Enthusiast Posts: 28

    Young folk are probably just more embarrassed to admit it or seek assistance.
  11. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,915   +1,112

    Yep, I believe there was a survey a few months back surveying the people's ability to handle technology. It turned out that most American's are Computer illiterate. That's probably the impact Smartphones and tablets have had. If you have an issue with the phone you get it replaced. The operating systems and very basic, so much so a baby can operate them. Top that off with the increasing amount of misinformation on the internet over the last few years and you have yourself an prophecy to immolate any level of thinking required.
  12. J spot

    J spot TS Addict Posts: 127   +55

    It makes sense. We live in a world where the vast majority of young people consume a lot of entertainment on their computers. From YouTube to FB. Texting, chatting, selfies. Would those same people have a curiosity towards computers if we were currently living in the 1980s?

    Their current use of computers is very superficial and lacks the curiosity and logic about how their computers work. Their view of their devices is probably for a lack of a better word, more magical than logical. So if something is wrong with their system, they can't begin to troubleshoot possible reasons why their phones or computers are acting a certain way.

    Even when I was in school, taking a computer related major. Most of the students in my major were not there because they had a thing for computers, and know what a Pentium is, or what the use of ram is for. They're there because, "Oh I like the internet, I like Facebook, let me me take this major." I knew this one girl who decided to take HTML, had no idea of all the code involved. Absolutely hates it, will never do anything with it. In her mind learning the knowledge to create web pages involved simply taking a pill, and probably using a program to drag and drop pictures.
  13. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,270

    Everybody, but everybody can be scammed. Some are just more gullible than others.
    robb213 likes this.

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