Sunday, March 3, 2024

$7.9B lost as 29% of Pinoys lose money to scammers in 12 months

The State of Scams in the Philippines Report unveiled by the Global Anti-Scam Alliance (GASA) and Women in Security Alliance Philippines (WiSAP), warns of a bleak scenario unfolding in the Philippines with rising scam activities deeply impacting the community.

With the country grappling with losses amounting to an enormous $7.9 billion, accounting for 1.8% of the Philippines’ GDP, the ominous report reveals 29% of respondents lost money to scams in the last year.

These alarming figures underscore the necessity for immediate action to stem the tide of scams threatening to overwhelm the nation.

The extensive survey of 1,432 has revealed disturbing trends in the Philippines, where despite a majority of 69% of Filipinos expressing confidence in identifying scams, a whopping 58% have encountered scams at least once a month.

Most of these scams originate from text messages and popular platforms like Facebook and Gmail, turning them into fertile grounds for fraudsters.

The report further highlights a pressing concern, as a substantial 72% identified Facebook as the primary platform where scams occur, followed closely by Gmail.

The predominance of investment and shopping scams, accounting for 29% and 36% respectively, has become a serious concern, with a significant portion of the community falling prey to deceit.

Mel T. Migriño, chair of WiSAP, noted, “The findings point towards an urgent need to foster a culture of vigilance and critical thinking to safeguard our community from the escalating threat of scams.”

Apart from economic repercussions, the emotional toll cannot be understated, with 74% choosing to remain silent, which they often attribute to fear, uncertainty, and a reluctance to approach the law enforcement authorities.

“This calls for a collaborative effort to nurture a resilient and informed community, equipped to confront and curb the threats looming in the digital corridors. At this critical juncture, the government, along with its citizens, needs to unite and forge a path where trust prevails over deceit, embodying the true spirit of the Filipinos to guide the nation towards a safer horizon,” said GASA’s Managing Director, Prof. Jorij Abraham.

In response to the rapidly worsening scam threat, GASA and WiSAP are preparing to officially launch GoScamCheck, a free online service that allows Filipinos to check the legitimacy of any internet domain and avoid any potential scam threats.

GoScamCheck is available in both English and Tagalog and will be unveiled to the public with a free webinar, “Guarding Digital Consumers: A Global Stand Against Cyber Scams,” taking place on Thursday, September 21, 2023, at 16:00 SGT.

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