Generation Z, millennials most likely victims of tech support scams: Microsoft

Generation Z, millennials most likely victims of tech support scams: Microsoft
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A new study shows that younger internet users might be the most susceptible group to online scams, bucking the conventional wisdom that older users are the most likely to fall prey to digital fraud.

New research by Microsoft found that Generation Z, millennials and males are the most likely to become victims in online tech support schemes in which scammers pose as tech support claiming to assist in problems that don’t actually exist.

The company explained that while young people are seen as more digitally savvy than older generations, they may ultimately be taken advantage of because of their “overconfidence in their device and web expertise.”

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Younger users, according to Microsoft, were reported to also be more trusting of unsolicited contact from people claiming to work for reputable companies.

The company conducted its study across 16 countries — Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States — on the tens of thousands of scam reports it receives from its customers.

The study noted that while Generation Z and millennials are the most likely to fall for some digital fraud attempts, older users are still more susceptible to tech support scams over the phone.

Digital scams have broadly proliferated in recent years and have become increasingly sophisticated.

Large data breaches have given hackers data to create specific spear-phishing emails, and robocalls allow scammers to cast an even wider night by calling extreme volumes of people, often asking for their information under fraudulent pretenses during the calls.

The industry and government agencies, like the Federal Communications Commission, have attempted to crack down on such efforts, but have found it difficult to keep up with scammers.