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ASEAN Crime Digitalization News Society Southeast Asia

USIP Calls for Regional Action Against Online Fraud

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Online fraud in Southeast Asia is growing. The widespread issue calls for cooperative regional measurements, according to a report from the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). 

The document estimates that the scammer groups are stealing approximately USD 43.8 billion every year in Southeast Asia, especially in Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam. 

USIP stated that most victims are the result of scammers using the “big butchering” scheme. This approach involves fraud tricking people on the internet into making fraudulent investments after gaining their trust through grooming.

According to a report from the High Commissioner’s Office of the United Nations Human Rights in 2023, more than 200,000 people are being forced to carry out cyber scams in Southeast Asia, with Laos and the Philippines being hotspots for cyber-related trafficking. 

The report says that Individuals are likely to accept jobs posted on social media that promise high payment and involve information technology. These so-called jobs also require moving from one country to another.

The USIP study group suggests several steps to address the problem, including imposing sanctions and travel bans on leaders of scam syndicates, holding countries responsible for allowing scam operations and penalizing social media platforms.

Find out more by clicking HERE.

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