Microsoft Names “Congratulations, you’ve won!” the Most Spread Online Scam

Microsoft survey reveals the top five most commonly encountered scams

By on October 16th, 2012 18:31 GMT

It’s no secret that Microsoft is one of the companies most often mentioned in online scams, as hackers across the Internet try to use the Redmond-based firm’s reputation to trick users into various malicious activities.

Microsoft’s survey for National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) revealed the top five most commonly encountered online scams, with the popular lottery “Congratulations, you’ve won!” scam taking the leading spot.

44 percent of the respondents admitted they were targeted by this kind of scam, while 40 percent of them said they encountered fake antivirus alerts that imitate real programs.

Phishing scams using fake email that looks official and encourages people to click shady links came third with 39 percent.

The same number of points were recorded by advanced fee fraud that features a request for bank account information from someone (such as a “foreign prince”) who needs to transfer money.

“Respondents report having encountered roughly eight different scams on average. While most (62%) feel they're unlikely to fall victim to an online scam, only 12% report feeling fully protected. So there is still concern about some of the newer, trickier socially engineered threats that are happening on social networks,” Microsoft said in the report, emphasizing that a large share of Internet users are targeted by online scams nowadays.

The survey also reveals the top three fears of adults when it comes to online deception, placing impersonation scams such as fake antivirus alerts on the leading position with 40 percent. Phishing scams come next with 39 percent, followed by work from home scams with 32 percent.

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