Well, maybe not.
But that’s just one of the many ploys that scammers send in their relentless efforts to part people from their money or sensitive personal information like passwords and account numbers.
Microsoft is asking people to take a survey of their experience with online fraud—what kinds of scams they’ve encountered (including those on mobile devices and Facebook), how concerned they are about online or phone fraud, and what steps they take to protect themselves.
In 2012, Microsoft fielded its first such study, interviewing 1,000 US residents to understand their exposure to, and perception of, online fraud and scams.
Respondents reported having encountered roughly eight different scams on average, with these as the top four:
- Scams that promise free things or coupons (44 percent)
- Fake antivirus alerts that imitate real programs offering virus repair but that download malware instead (40 percent)
- Phishing scams using fake messages that mimic those of trusted businesses to trick people into revealing personal information (39 percent)
- Fraud that features a request for bank information or money upfront from someone (such as a “foreign prince”) who needs help transferring large sums of money for a cut of the total (39 percent)
In the new survey, we’re interested in how scams and responses to scams might have changed since 2012. Are there different scams? What are the most common? Where are they most often occurring—on mobile devices? On Facebook?
Results of our last survey showed that nearly everyone (97 percent) took steps to safeguard their computers, but more than half (52 percent) did nothing at all to protect their mobile devices. So we’re particularly interested to see if these numbers have changed.
We will release the results of the survey during National Cyber Security Awareness Month this October. Follow the hashtag #NCSAM to read the story.