#Asia Within the web thrives sundry scheming scums; here are Asia’s biggest online scams


4 in 10 in Asia have been a victim of Internet scams

"But..but..he told me he was THE prince of Persia and he wanted to make me his one true bride!"

“But..but..he told me he was THE prince of Persia and he wanted to make me his one true bride!”

Internet scams have been around ever since people found a way to harness the world wide web for profit. They come in all manners of deviousness; from phishing scams to Nigerian princes promising glorious riches and their pet lion in exchange for a relatively small sum of money.

Internet scams evolve as new tech arrive on the scene. Massively-popular Chinese chat apps proved to be a fertile breeding ground for credit-for-sex scam alerts (Honestly, guys, just use this ‘Uber-for-escorts‘ service).

Also Read: Shopee wants to create a more holistic and safer e-commerce experience

According to a survey released by Norwegian-based global mobile operator Telenor, Asia is a hunting ground for online scammers, which is unsurprising considering the region has the highest Internet penetration rate in the world. 4 in 10 people surveyed in Asia have fallen victim to an online scam at least once.

One in five Malaysians have fallen prey to Internet auction scams, for every five respondents, one person in Thailand has had their Facebook account hacked and twenty-five per cent of people in India were suckered by lottery scams.

Singapore clinched the dubious honour of having the highest identity fraud incidents, which typically occurs when a hacker gets into your account and uses it to conduct other scams.

Top 5 online scams

Everyone wants to earn some spare change on the side right? Well, apparently, online scammers are well aware of attractiveness of a passive income.

The largest portion of Asia’s online scam victims (36 per cent) come from so called ‘work from home’ schemes. The scammers either trick the victim into handing over money to start a phoney business, or victims are promised money in exchange for work.

Also Read: China is the biggest online spender in APAC: PayPal report

Internet auction scams (when buyers or sellers do not receive their due payment or merchandise) comes second at 16 per cent. Guys, always use Paypal or similarly vetted service. There is always recourse when using a more secure payment channels.

Nipping at the heals are emails that attempt to phish your bank details (15 per cent), followed by online dating scams (14 per cent) then identity theft (13 per cent).

Overall, 9 in 10 Internet scam victims in Asia lost money, at an average of US$9,900 (ouch!). For the average Asian online shopper, that is a lot of dough – more than enough to buy at least 2 popcorn sets at a movie theatre (no jumbo coke, that is pushing it).

Women are more guarded about email security than men but…

Men likely to say they browse privately to stay safe from scammers (41 per cent male vs 30 per cent female), although I would like to add, from my observations, private online browsing has very little to do with scammers and more to do with something more…salacious.

Overall, men are slightly more tech savvy when it comes to software-assisted security (69 per cent male vs 62 per cent female) while women are also more aware of online dating scams than men (78 per cent female vs 71 per cent male).


The post Within the web thrives sundry scheming scums; here are Asia’s biggest online scams appeared first on e27.

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