A staggering 20 per cent of people in the UK have received a call from a fake IT security company attempting to scam them out of money or personal information, if the latest survey published by Microsoft is to be believed.

According to a Dynamic Markets poll, commissioned by Microsoft, of 7,000 people across UK, US, Canada and Eire, 15 per cent had received a phishing call, and that figure is 20 per cent when you just look at the UK data.

Now, that figure sounds on the high side to us, but the survey's findings does show a worrying trend – especially because 22 per cent of those 15 per cent (that's 3 per cent of the total sample) had actually ponied up some info or parted with cash.

Deception

"Security software is constantly being improved and so cybercriminals are resorting to deception tactics to trick people into revealing important details or gaining access to their computers," said Stuart Aston, Chief Security Adviser, Microsoft UK.

"Many scammers even claim to be from legitimate companies or their partners. We would like to remind users of Microsoft software that the company does not keep track of consumers that purchase their software and does not directly contact consumers for any reason whatsoever.

"Do not to trust any caller claiming to be from Microsoft and needing access to your home PC."

Now obviously no TechRadar reader would fall for something so transparent, but it might well be worth reminding your less tech savvy and more naïve friends and relatives that this kind of thing is still going on.