Indians get 12 fake messages a day on average, AI makes those real: McAfee report


Indians on average receive nearly 12 fake messages or scams each day via email, text or social media and they spend 1.8 hours a week reviewing, verifying or deciding whether a message sent is real or fake, a new McAfee report showed on Wednesday.

About 82 per cent of Indians surveyed have clicked on or fallen for fake messages and 49 per cent said that scam messages no longer have typos or errors, making them more believable and harder to identify, according to McAfee’s first-ever ‘Global Scam Message’ study.

Among the most common forms of sophisticated trickery, most Indian consumers fall for fake job notifications or offers (64 per cent) and bank alert messages (52 per cent).

The study surveyed more than 7,000 adults in seven countries, including India, to understand how scam messages, and the increased scam sophistication brought about by Artificial Intelligence (AI), have impacted the lives of consumers worldwide.

“It’s truly a sign of the times that most Indian consumers would rather subject themselves to the pain and distress of a root canal than be subjected to scam texts and messages throughout the year,” said Roma Majumder, SVP of Product at McAfee.

“Thanks to AI it can be incredibly difficult to know if that delivery text message or bank alert notification is real or not. So much so that 73 per cent of Indians believe they have a better shot at solving the Rubik’s cube than identifying a scam message,” Majumder added.

About 60 per cent of Indian respondents think it has become harder to identify scam messages, attributing this trend to hackers using AI to make their scams more believable.

About 90 per cent of Indians surveyed indicate that they receive fake messages or scams via email and text on a daily basis, and 84 per cent said the same about social media, according to the report.

As the number of AI-powered scams continues to rise, 37 per cent of India survey respondents say their trust in digital communications has decreased.

“This trend is largely due to a lack of depth of digital defense knowledge. Most Indians say they don’t know if they are doing the right things to protect themselves,” the report mentioned.

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