Sun, June 26, 2022

in-focus

Facebook most frequent tool used to deceive elderly: seminar


Facebook has become the tool most frequently used to deceive the elderly, according to experts who warned the elderly and their families during a seminar.

National Statistics Bureau data on seniors’ internet usage show that they are most often deceived while browsing Facebook pages, said Jaruwan Sriphakdee, director of the Older Persons’ Rights Protection and Assistance Division of the Older Persons Department.

According to the data, 44 per cent of seniors have been deceived by Facebook posts, 31.25 per cent by Line chats and 5.25 per cent by Instagram posts, said Jaruwan, speaking at a recent online seminar organised by the Thailand Consumers Council (TCC) to alert the elderly and their families to the dangers of fraud on social media.

She did not elaborate on the number of seniors surveyed or the timeframe involved.

Jaruwan explained that the elderly tend to be deceived more on Facebook than other social media platforms because older people use the portal to keep abreast of current events, meet friends and shop.

The seminar also heard that complaints received last year by the Electronics Transactions Development Agency rose by 20 per cent to about 50,000.

Praparat Chaiyos, a senior official at the agency, said the majority of complaints were about online purchases of goods that failed to meet the quality advertised.

She said most of the complainants were aged 40-plus.

The deceiving posts often featured made-up stories, time limits for making purchases, and elderly presenters.

She cited ads that used seniors to present ointments for relieving knee-joint pain, luring many elderly customers to waste money on the useless products.

Praparat advised elderly internet users to consult their children before making a purchase and always check the blacklistseller.com website before buying.

Speaking at the same seminar, Pasawat Jumpa, chief of the Consumer Protection Board’s advert-monitoring division, said most of the deceiving ads claimed massive discounts on their products. The vendors also made unverifiable claims, such as that their products were top sellers or were guaranteed to prevent Covid-19.

Thailand now has over 10 million elderly people and rising, said TCC deputy secretary general Suphaporn Thinwatanakul, citing data from the Provincial Administration Department.

As a result, it is necessary for their younger relatives to help shield them from online deceptions, he added.

Published : April 10, 2022

By : THE NATION