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Online scams feed on victims' naivete

June 08, 2022 - 10:41

Online scams have been climbing steadily in recent years as more people are taken in by "easy money" tricks.


Job-seekers at a job centre in Khánh Hòa Province. Experts called on job-seekers to find jobs at job centres instead of trusting online suspicious leaflets. Photo khanhhoa.gov.vn

HÀ NỘI — Online scams have been climbing steadily in recent years as more people are taken in by "easy money" tricks.

Thanh, a citizen in Hà Nội, revealed that she was deceived last year by an online flyer advertising a lucrative investment opportunity. The flyer said the investment would earn her big money without any risk.

She had to create an account on a suspicious website and transfer money to the account. A "financial expert" on the website would manage the account on her behalf, claiming he would turn the money into a small fortune.

"Initially, the account did show a profit, so I thought it was money for old rope. I borrowed a lot from my friends to transfer more money to the account, hoping for more profits. But I was wrong," she said.

She revealed that she could not withdraw money from her account despite the recorded profits. She made a complaint to the "financial expert" but to no avail. He had walked off with all the money.

Another trick is scammers posing as representatives from big e-commerce names, recruiting freelance assistants and asking the assistants to order products from a certain online shop to boost the shop's publicity.

The scammers pledge to return the money and pay kickbacks to the assistants once the orders are completed. Many have been led astray by the "easy money" and gotten scammed.

"As soon as the assistants fall prey to the tricks, scammers will ask them to push on with higher-value orders, normally tens of millions of đồng each. When the total value of orders amounts to hundreds of millions of đồng, they disappear with all the money," said an expert from the Vietnam Computer Emergency Response Team (VNCERT).

Job security deposits are another trick. Scammers send emails to online candidates to announce recruitment and claim that the candidates are cut out for the jobs offered.

Once they are deceived, the scammers ask them to pay deposits to secure vacancies, saying that they will miss out on the opportunity otherwise.

"The jobs were so appealing that I paid them on the spot. It later turned out to be a bad decision. They took my money but offered me no job. When I tried to contact them, they put my number on the blacklist and blocked my email," said Lê Hồng Ngọc, a victim of a job security scam in Hà Nội.

Nguyễn Hữu Toại, a lawyer from the Hà Nội Bar Association, said that it was a tough job to bring online scammers to court as, in most cases, they live overseas and deliberately hide their identity. 

"The scammers are cunning. They live and set up their servers abroad to avoid detection. It's almost impossible to detect their identity and take legal actions against them," he said.

He also underscored that there is no such thing as "low effort jobs that pay well." These unrealistic offerings are just a trap scammers set for greedy victims.

Accordingly, he urged internet users to be cautious to keep themselves away from such offerings that feed on their own greed.

The expert from VNCERT recommended that internet users stay well-informed about new types of online scams via media and the portal chongthurac.vn.  

"Users need to double-check firms' information via official channels before accepting any appealing offerings from those firms," he added.

The Long Phan Law Firm recommended that scam victims record everything possible related to their case, including messages, invoices, and phone numbers. The more evidence victims present, the faster the authorities can deal with the case and recover the lost money.  — VNS