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Tech support scams are everywhere, Microsoft says

You know who's most vulnerable to online scams. Older users, right? Wrong. Microsoft says it's millennials. That group, aged 18 – 34, is outpacing everyone else for two reasons. 

First – it's the biggest group, and second – it is the one using technology most, and having most trust in it, as well. The biggest scam, according to the company's new report, is the tech support scam, with more than two thirds of people falling victim to it. Instead of unsolicited phone calls to potential victims, a practice which was extremely popular, scammers now use emails, websites and pop-ups to literally scare people into engaging.  Of those in the UK that Microsoft polled for the report, 69 per cent have experienced a tech support scam. One in ten (10 per cent) in Great Britain continued with the scam, and two per cent continued and eventually lost money.  

Microsoft says there are a few things you can do to protect yourself from scammers. Firstly, ask if there is a fee or a subscription associated with the service. There shouldn't be any, so if there is – it's most likely a scam. Do not, under any circumstances, give control of your computer to a third party, before you verify their identity.   

Finally, write down the person's information and keep it in case your local authorities need it.  "Any communication we have with you must be initiated by you,” Microsoft adds. Tech support should not be contacting you first – ever.   

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