Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Cambodians vulnerable to Internet scams

Yesterday I wondered how many Cambodians fall for Internet scams. In September, The Phnom Penh Post did a story on one such person. As increasing numbers of Khmers have bank accounts and email addresses, but not the exposure or education on Internet scams, some fall for the lure of easy money. Here is the report by the Post.

Radio Australia interviewed the same young woman, called "Amy" in its programme

The presenter noted: "A UK study in 2006 found that 150 thousand pounds a year was lost to these scams, with each victim losing an average of 31 thousand pounds." He must have his figures wrong, because this means only 5 people were scammed in the UK in that study.

A more accurate figure is £260 million, lost to fake foreign lotteries, as this report points out.

"On average a victim has a 30 per cent chance of falling for another scam within 12 months of first being caught out, most likely because their personal details are added to a so-called 'suckers list', which are then sold on to other scammers.

Whilst older consumers were more likely to be targeted by a scam, the highest percentage of victims were aged between 35-44 years. Of those who fell for the scams, 32 per cent said it was because of the legitimate and professional appearance of the marketing, 30 per cent said they were caught off guard, and 13 per cent because of the excitement at the prospect of getting a good deal or winning a prize.

In addition, the research showed that less than five per cent of those scammed reported their experience to the authorities."
I also found this interesting story on an Australian woman who allegedly asked to have stolen goods delivered to her home in Brisbane, before forwarding them to Cambodia. It seems the woman had an Internet relationship with a man in Cambodia whom she met on a dating website. But the report does not say if this person is Khmer or a foreigner residing in Cambodia.

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