AI-driven festive shopping scams on the rise in India: Study

In a recent study conducted by McAfee across seven countries, including India, the inaugural Global Festive Shopping Scams Study sheds light on the escalating threat of cyber scams during the festive season.

The study surveyed over 7,000 adults, providing insights into consumer behavior, concerns, and vulnerabilities in the online shopping landscape.

Key Findings from the McAfee Global Festive Shopping Scams Study:

1. Trust in Online Shopping: 84% of Indian consumers express an equal level of trust between online and in-person shopping.

2. Increased Online Shopping: 44% of Indians planned to increase their online shopping activities during the festive season.

3. Uptick in Cybercriminal Activity: 77% of shoppers witnessed a surge in cybercriminal activity during the festive season.

4. Impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI): 95% believed that AI would influence the frequency and types of scams.

5. Online Scam Victims: 54% of Indian consumers fell victim to online scams during the festive season.

6. Financial Loss: Among the victims, 65% reported financial losses, with the majority losing up to INR 40,000.

7. Shopping Anytime, Anywhere: Consumers exhibited unconventional shopping habits, with 59% making purchases late at night, 37% during work hours, 28% during dinner, and 10% even while on the toilet.

8. Trust in Online Shopping Sources: 84% of consumers have the same level of trust when shopping online as they do in person.

9. AI Impact on Scams: 95% believe that the use of AI by cybercriminals will impact the amount and types of scams.

10. Difficulty in Differentiating Messages: 34% find it challenging to distinguish between real and fake messages from retailers or delivery services.

McAfee suggests precautions such as thinking before clicking, being cautious of deals that seem too good to be true, and leveraging AI-driven technologies like McAfee Scam Protection to enhance online security. With cybercriminals exploiting the festive shopping fervor, staying vigilant becomes crucial for consumers navigating the digital marketplace.

Regarding the matter, Roma Majumder, SVP of Product at McAfee said,

With the speed and sophistication of scams increasing rapidly due to AI, and Indian consumers busier than ever, knowledge is the first line of data protection defense. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the rush for deals, and the hustle and bustle of life, and using AI to create fake sites, phishing emails, and tricky text messages, hoping you’ll take the bait and click on something unsafe.

With AI now a scammers favorite tool, and our findings revealing that 43% of Indians are likely to jump on a great deal as soon as they see it, you need the most advanced AI in your back pocket to safeguard your privacy, identity, and personal information. So, keep your guard up, think before you click when seeking out deals or managing your purchase deliveries, and make sure you’ve got the latest in AI and online protection to keep the cyber crooks at bay.