78% of Indians fell victim to online scams this holiday season: Report

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Dec 11, 2019, 01.45 PM(IST)

(Representative Image) Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

With a consistent increase in online shopping 56.1 per cent Indians have fallen victim to discount scams.

With an increase in holiday season travel and online shopping, Indians are increasingly falling prey to cybercriminals, with 53.6 per cent Indians admitting that they fell victim to deceitful apps, according to a new report released by McAfee. 

McAfee’s recent survey, ‘A Christmas Carol: Scam Edition’, highlights how the year-end festivities present a variety of threats to Indian internet users with 28.6% of Indians having lost between INR 15,000 to 20,000 to fake online retail sites. 

The survey also revealed that 78.6 per cent of Indians have been conned by seasonal travel scams through unsolicited and malicious links considering that family vacations and travel are high on the agenda for many Indians. 

To avoid the holiday rush, consumers tend to get careless while purchasing and booking online, falling victim to surging cyber attacks, said Venkat Krishnapur, Vice-President of Engineering and Managing Director, McAfee India. 

“Consumers choose to beat the holiday rush by purchasing and booking online, but, as transactions surge, so do the cyber-attacks. With the sheer volume of people shopping online, they tend to get careless, carried away with discounts, and open themselves to phishing attacks, frauds, malicious websites, and viruses that aim to steal money and personal information,” said Krishnapur. 

With a consistent increase in online shopping 56.1 per cent Indians have fallen victim to discount scams, by clicking on links that took them to a sketchy website with 35.4 per cent of Indians confessed to having been impacted by discount scams, where a malicious file was downloaded onto their device.

With scammers impersonating genuine charities, 60.7 per cent were victims of fake trusts seeking donations, while 43 per cent of Indians expressed their concerns about being scammed by these fake trusts. 

The survey also revealed that a staggering 52.6 per cent of millennials between the age of 18 to 24 years faced the brunt of romance scams, while 60 per cent of the same age group were scammed by e-greetings. 

Krishnapur warned Indians against the enhancing techniques of threats actors while urging users to be more mindful of potential risks. 

“As threat actors continue to enhance their techniques and explore new creative means of theft, it is crucial that users are mindful of potential risks and undertake necessary measures to protect themselves this holiday season,” Krishnapur added.

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