Cybercriminals play the Grinch this festive season

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Published: December 11, 2019 2:32:31 AM

As the tech-savvy generation of online shoppers continue to surge, 35.4% of Indians confess to have been conned by discount scams, where a malicious file was downloaded onto their device. Throughout the festivities, 60.2% have fallen victim to robocalling, and 57.1% through SIM jacking.

Cybercrime, Grinch, festive season, industry news,Considering that family vacations and travel is high on the agenda for many Indians, the survey revealed that 78.6% of Indians have been impacted by seasonal travel scams.

Are you looking forward to the Christmas break? You are not alone, as cybercriminals are equally thrilled about the holiday season. With online Christmas shopping on the rise, McAfee has revealed that 56.1% Indians have fallen victim to discount scams, by clicking on links that took them to a sketchy website. Its recent survey, ‘A Christmas Carol: Scam Edition’, highlights how the year-end festivities present a variety of threats, with more than half (53.6%) Indians falling victim to scams resulting from deceiving apps. While cybercriminal activity continues to grow in sophistication, popular scams like email phishing (25.3%) and text phishing (21.1%) still result in close to a quarter of Indians being duped throughout the season.

As the tech-savvy generation of online shoppers continue to surge, 35.4% of Indians confess to have been conned by discount scams, where a malicious file was downloaded onto their device. Throughout the festivities, 60.2% have fallen victim to robocalling, and 57.1% through SIM jacking. Considering that family vacations and travel is high on the agenda for many Indians, the survey revealed that 78.6% of Indians have been impacted by seasonal travel scams.

A new trend that hit unsavvy consumers hard this festive season was through phony gift cards. A total 39.3% Indians were directed to a site, were they were asked to input personal information such as name, telephone number or credit card information, with 40% losing Rs 10,000- Rs 15,000. Leveraging the emotional aspects of philanthropy and generosity, 60.7% were victims of fake charities, with scammers impersonating genuine trusts to ask for donations.

Millennials need not fear missing out on the party, as the survey revealed 52.6% of users in the 18-24 years age group faced the brunt of romance scams, and 60% in the same age group agree to being scammed by e-greetings. Venkat Krishnapur, vice-president of engineering and managing director, McAfee India commented: “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.”

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