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How can we prevent online fraud?

Developments in technology and the proliferation of online activities have opened up opportunities for scammers to cheat people, especially by fraudulently soliciting donations. Vientiane Times asked a few people for their thoughts on this disturbing trend. 

 

Mr Saikeo Inchanthar, a businessman in Xaythany district, Vientiane: I think scammers are terrible and these days there seem to be many of them, both online and in real life. If you’re not careful, you can easily fall victim to a scam. It’s happened to many people including me. Before making a donation, we should learn as much as possible about the recipient. And to prevent problems, we should all be more careful about everyone, everything, and every step in our lives.

Ms Khuanta Douangchaleun, a vendor in Xaythany district, Vientiane: My husband and I run a small market and while my husband was at our shop I was deceived twice at our in-house market. I have met people who have been scammed and it is scary. I never thought this would happen. People trick others into giving money and material goods. We should all learn from this so that we don’t get lied to and cheated. I wish I had a CCTV camera so that I could see everyone and then people would be afraid to trick me. From now on I will not trust anyone I do not know. If I make a donation, I will carefully consider whether my donation will reach the intended beneficiary. I’m afraid this won’t happen, so I’m always careful and ask for more information before donating.

Mr Sonexay Saenkhamyong, a resident of Xaythany district, Vientiane: I have had this kind of experience but fortunately I realised what was going on before any damage was done. I’d like to remind all users of social media who are considering donating money or goods to check the background of the person who has set up the page, to ensure that what we give is delivered to the right people, not to a fraudster. It’s important to remember that we can’t trust everything we read on social media. Some of the stuff that’s posted is true but some is not, so we should think carefully to make sure we’re not being cheated.

Ms Payaolor Yongnou, a resident of Xieng Khuang province: This is an era of technology but Laos is not as advanced as other countries. There are still a lot of people who work for a living but do not understand the intricacies of technology. They just focus on earning money for a living, so they can easily be deceived. In the past I donated money to help people in the south who suffered during floods. It was a small amount but there was no news or anything to report that the money I had given reached the people in need. Since then, I do not trust anyone and do not want to donate. These scams happen because people see an easy chance to put money in their pockets. There may be no evidence, but we all know that many foreign countries have donated materials and money to help people in Laos, but it seems that often no help has been given. People should not take advantage of other people’s unfortunate situations.

Mr Phetthavisone Phoxay, a student in Vientiane: We all know that modern technology enables us to access information more quickly and makes day-to-day living easier. But there are some groups of people who use social media to deceive others for their personal gain. To protect ourselves, we need to read the details carefully before deciding to do something and make an enquiry if we see anything strange in our account. If we lose something because of criminal activity we should inform the police.

Ms Chanthevy Keokhamphavan, a resident of Chanthabouly district, Vientiane: I think there should be a special unit to deal with online fraud. Nowadays there are a lot of criminals who cheat people by soliciting donations and pretending their money will go to a good cause. In these cases the police should arrest those involved and penalise them. Users of social media should not post or share their personal details as this can enable criminals to intervene.

 

By Souvanny & Viengkeo
(Latest Update March 29, 2021)


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