McAfee conducted its inaugural Global Scam Message Study. More than 7,000 adults across seven countries, including India, participated in the study to understand how scam messages and the increased sophistication of scams due to artificial intelligence (AI) have affected consumers worldwide.
The study shows that Indians receive 12 fake messages/scams/day and spend 1.8 hours/week identifying them.Shockingly, 82% of Indians have fallen for fake messages. Fake job notifications/offers (64%) and bank alert messages (52%) are the most common tricks used.
The survey conducted in India revealed that 60% of the respondents in India find it harder to identify scam messages due to hackers using AI to make them more believable. Additionally, 49% of people said that scam messages are now error-free and highly convincing, while also containing personal information that makes them harder to recognize.
These are some of the messages that people fell for

  • “You’ve won a prize!” – 72%
  • Fake job notifications or offers – 64%
  • Bank alert message– 52%
  • Information about a purchase the recipient didn’t make – 37%
  • Netflix (or similar) subscription updates – 35%
  • Fake missed delivery, or delivery problem, notification – 29%
  • Amazon security alert, or notification messages regarding account updates – 27%

Indians spend 105 minutes per week verifying messages. 90% receive fake messages via email and text daily, and 84% on social media. 82% have clicked on fake messages.
The most believed messages are

  • “You’ve won a prize!” – 41%
  • Fake missed delivery, or delivery problem, notification – 23%
  • Information about a purchase the recipient didn’t make – 24%
  • Sign in and location verification messages – 24%

37% of Indian survey respondents say their trust in digital communications has decreased due to the rise in AI-powered scams. Most Indians are uncertain if they are taking the right measures to protect themselves.
People manage this knowledge gap in different ways: 28% ignore scam emails, 28% block the sender, and 31% report the messages. However, 88% of Indians trust AI to detect online scams, and 59% believe AI is necessary to beat AI.
Here are some ways to protect yourself from scam messages

  • Always think before you click
  • If it seems too good to be true, it probably is
  • Use scam protection software to block dangerous links on text messages, social media, or web browsers.

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