Consumer group calls for tougher measures vs online scams

Consumer group calls for tougher measures vs online scams

By: - Reporter / @luisacabatoINQ
/ 04:28 PM May 07, 2024

 Consumer group calls for tougher measures vs online scams


MANILA, Philippines —  The consumer advocacy group CitizenWatch Philippines has urged the government for a “whole-of-society” approach to combating online scammers, citing the former’s use of more creative tactics to deceive internet users.

In a statement on Tuesday, the group’s lead convenor Orlando Oxales said that even though there have been “some gains” in the government’s anti-cybercrime efforts, scammers are still continuously targeting millions of internet users with “more cunning culturally customized tactics.”


“We reiterate our call for all sectors to unite against online scammers. We must be informed, stay vigilant, and behave responsibly in the digital world as we are expected to be while offline in the real world,” Oxales said.


He stressed that the strategies of tech-powered fraudsters eventually lead to the stealing of sensitive information that may be used in financial scams or fraudulent transactions.

Oxales added that scammers are “employing devious tactics that will deceive their target to engage imposter accounts that will lead to malicious links with malware, clone branded advertisements to trick users into purchasing fake products, and offering job opportunities that are too good to be true.”

CitizenWatch Philippines also mentioned in the statement that the Philippines was cited as having the “highest scam rate for online shoppers” in the 2023 Asia Scam Report.

The report surveyed the online shopping experience of 20,000 respondents from the Philippines, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore.

CitizenWatch Philippines also cited data from the Philippine National Police, which revealed that 19,000 cyber crimes were recorded in 2023, a 68.98 percent increase compared to 2022.

From this number, the group said that 14,030 were online scams.


“Scammers will say anything to trick their targets that they are getting a great deal such as unbelievable cheap offers for expensive branded items and high job salaries among others,” Oxales said.

“As consumers, our first line of defense is to have a ‘ZERO TRUST’ attitude when we are online and to be always on guard of messages and content we receive in our devices,” he added.

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TAGS: online, Scam

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