Nearly one in five people in the UK has apparently received a phone call from a fake IT security firm, a recent research study conducted by Dynamic Markets on behalf of Microsoft has revealed.
The calls were made with the intention of defrauding unsuspecting computer users and attempts were made to obtain personal and financial information. The percentage of people who received such calls in UK was significantly higher than their counterparts in the US and Canada.
“The scammers tell their victims they are providing free security checks and add authenticity by claiming to represent legitimate companies and using telephone directories to refer to their victims by name,” Microsoft wrote in a statement on PR Newswire (opens in new tab).
The survey conducted by Dynamic Markets covered nearly seven thousand people and found that nearly twenty two percent of those who received such fake calls gave up some cash or personal information to the scammers.
Criminals are trying to exploit the security-related news stories by masquerading as security firms and offering dubious solutions. Purchasing security services without verifying the supposed security firm's credentials puts consumers at risk of having their personal data compromised.