SINGAPORE – More people here have been targeted by scammers claiming to help them with technical support issues, with the police receiving twice as many reports of such ruses last year amid a Covid-19-fuelled rise in online scams.

This is according to findings from a new study released on Friday (Sept 17) by American software giant Microsoft.

The study showed that 62 per cent of people here had an encounter with a tech support scam, up from 58 per cent when a similar study was last done in 2018.

This year’s finding is also slightly higher than the global average of 59 per cent.

In such scams, crooks often pretend to be from reputable companies and lie to victims that their electronic devices have been infected by a virus or have security or network problems that the scammer can fix.

The scammers communicate the lies by making unsolicited phone calls, sending unsolicited e-mails, inserting pop-up online advertisements in websites, and redirecting people to other websites with fake information.

Microsoft had commissioned market research firm YouGov to poll about 1,000 people here in May on such scams. People in fifteen other countries were also polled, including in the United States, Britain, India and Japan.

The survey found that 34 per cent of respondents here got an unsolicited tech support scam call in the 12 months to May, almost double the figure from 2018.

However, respondents were also found to be guarded against the scams.

For instance, 91 per cent said that…

Read more…