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What should we do to avoid falling victim to online fraud?

Facebook users have issued a warning about a scam in which people are conned into opening an image that gives the hacker access to one’s personal details, including bank accounts. Amid the proliferation of such fraudulent activities, Vientiane Times asked around for thoughts on this disturbing trend.

Lamphone Pasanthong

Ms Duangchai Sansany, a resident of Vientiane: I’ve seen many Facebook users post their pictures and share this app on their feed. After that, some people found that money had been taken out of their bank account. This is very troubling and it’s worrying to think that people are deliberately preying on innocent members of the public. This is a reminder to all of us to be very careful when sharing anything online. It’s important to remember that you can’t trust everything you 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 cheated.

Ms Noy, an employee 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 doing anything through social media, we should question the source and get more information. And to prevent problems, we should all be more careful about everyone, everything, and everything we do in our lives.

Mr Chanthavone Keokhampha, 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 in all kinds of devious ways. Users of social media should not post or share their personal details as this can enable criminals to intervene. And we should not use our birthday, phone number or our name as a password because this makes it easier for people to hack into our account. Every password should contain a number, a symbol and letters of the alphabet to make it safe.
Ms Naly Mounmixay, a resident of Xaythany district, Vientiane: This is an era of technology but Laos is not as advanced as other countries. There are still a lot of people who do not understand the intricacies of technology. They just focus on earning money to make a living, so they can easily be deceived. In the past I was cheated by a request to donate money to help poor people. Now I am careful and always look into the details before doing anything. I don’t want the same sort of thing to happen again, so I always ask for more information before complying with a request.

Ms Da Phoxay, a resident of Luang Prabang province: We all know that modern technology enables us to access information more quickly and makes day-to-day living easier. But unfortunately some people use social media platforms and email to deceive others for their personal gain. To protect ourselves, we need to read the details of any post or message carefully before deciding to do something, and should make an enquiry if we notice anything strange in our account. If we lose something because of criminal activity we should inform the police.

By Lamphone Pasanthong
(Latest Update September 8, 2023)

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