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The Rapid Growth of Online Scam in South East Asia

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, more people are required to remain at home, spending more time on the internet and increasing the levels of exposure to online scams and fraud.

Jeff Pinchuck

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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the law requires everyone to remain at home for an unknown period to curb the spread of the virus.

Thanks to technology, people can lessen the boredom associated with staying at home by surfing the internet for online casino games, shopping, YouTube streaming, and watching Netflix.

However, as GClub observes, the e-commerce platform in South East Asia is changing due to COVID19. 

The worth of South East Asia’s online market is expected to reach $300 billion by 2025. The high e-commerce in this region is due to an increasing disposable income, young internet consumers, and a high rate of mobile internet penetration.

The worth of South East Asia’s online market is expected to reach $300 billion by 2025

It is also attributed to changing consumers’ behaviors in sectors such as online media, online travel, online gaming, and e-commerce. By 2019, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam had 150m, 57m, 25.28m,4.92m, 76m, and 64m mobile internet users, respectively.

Estimates from the Consultancy and Research Firm Media Partners Asia, internet use in South East Asia increased from 36.4 billion to 58 billion minutes between January and April 11. People are carrying out most of their tasks, especially shopping.

The increase in internet use results in a new issue: online fraud. 

The current strong presence of online crimes will increase, as most people are at home, unemployed, and bored.

The deadly coronavirus and its spread have led to “an explosion of cybercrime” with criminals preying on people desperate for ways to protect themselves and those they love, according to a recent report prepared for ICANN.

Other than the already existing financial crimes involving attempts to hack online credit card sites and bank accounts, the sharking of online loans is likely to increase due to the looming economic downturn and the high rates of unemployment.

Also, currently, there are more online scammers dissimulating representatives of social security agencies and asking for people’s confidential details. They inform the victims that their phone numbers are linked to particular crimes and, thus, they have committed offenses that need investigation, or there are cases against them.

They are lured to disclosing their online banking details, passport details, and NRIC numbers. Online scammers are impersonating employees from government offices, telecommunication service providers, and courier companies.

However, the government warns citizens against disclosing such sensitive information, claiming that no government agency can ask for personal information or money transfer over automated machines or the phone. 

COVID19-related online frauds

No sector is safe from the COVID19-related online frauds, even the gaming industry. Online casino gamers are the main victims of the new wave of online scams.

The pandemic, which saw an increase in the number of people engaging in online games to reduce boredom, delivered a large number of potential victims of online frauds. In this case, typical frauds involve selling game assets or a gaming account cheaply, which in most cases, turns out to be fake.

Aside from that, online gamers may receive suspicious SMS or emails that claim to be from online gambling sites to offer in-game bonuses or credit. For instance, a suspicious gambling site will claim to provide free products for newly registered members.

Gamers should not accept any offers from such sites. If offers from a site seem too good to be true, be sure to delete it immediately! Moreover, the government appears to be conducting investigations on this issue. A reliable source informed us, “the police forces are aware of the online casino-related scams and are looking into the issue.”

As you stay safe from coronavirus, also stay safe from online fraud, and particularly in online gaming. For genuine online casino gaming, visit the GClub (จีคลับ).

Also, avoid clicking on links that claim to offer credit on games, contribute to crowd funding campaigns, purchase online products, give information on COVID19, or donating to online charities. Seek information first before clicking on these links!

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Ecommerce

Will Covid-19 unleash a new generation of digital nomads?

Oxford Business Group

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Will Covid-19 unleash a new generation of digital nomads?
– Covid-19 has facilitated the widespread adoption of remote working
– Despite travel restrictions, countries are seeking to attract digital nomads
– Dubai and Mexico have emerged as key destinations for foreign remote workers
– As travel resumes, many anticipate a new wave of roaming digital nomads

With Covid-19 facilitating the widespread adoption of remote working practices, some emerging markets are seeking to attract digital nomads through a series of incentives and special visas.

Despite border closures and travel restrictions resulting from the virus, various countries are stepping up efforts to incentivise the movement of so-called digital nomads – people who work remotely and relocate relatively freely.

For example, in October the Dubai government launched its virtual working programme, an initiative that gives foreign professionals the opportunity to move to the emirate and continue to work remotely in their current jobs.

The one-year programme, launched after Dubai reopened its borders to international tourists in July last year, is designed is attract professionals, entrepreneurs and those working in start-ups.

Given its strong ICT infrastructure and healthy start-up scene, Dubai has been seen as an increasingly attractive option for digital nomads in recent years, with officials marketing the emirate as a place where people can live and work by the beach.

As a further incentive, in January officials began offering free vaccines to those on the programme.

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Covid-19 and medical tourism: is a recovery on the cards?

Oxford Business Group

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Covid-19 and medical tourism: is a recovery on the cards?
– Before the pandemic, medical tourism was a major growth area
– Dubai was a world leader among emerging market destinations
– Covid-19 travel bans and lockdowns seriously dented growth
– Increased emphasis on safety has enabled a gradual re-opening

Prior to the outbreak of coronavirus, medical tourism was a significant growth industry in many emerging economies. While the pandemic represented a major setback for the segment, there are signs that it may be recovering in several markets.

The last decade saw a boom in medical tourism. By 2018 the global market was generating $58.6bn annually and in 2019 it was forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.7% – reaching more than $142.2bn by 2026.

The segment’s growth was largely spurred by increased awareness – particularly among citizens of higher-income countries – of the quality and relatively affordable health care options on offer in many emerging economies. The appeal was further enhanced by the possibility of combining medical treatment with a holiday in an attractive location.

Asia has been a popular region for medical tourism for some time. In Thailand, for example, guided by the Ministry of Public Health’s 2016-25 strategic plan entitled ‘Thailand: A Hub of Wellness and Medical Services’, stakeholders have been working to cement the country’s position as a regional leader in medical tourism.

Elsewhere in Asia, in 2017 the Indian government began offering a medical visa aimed at bringing in more foreign patients. 

Governments in other regions similarly moved to capitalise on this growing segment. In 2015, for example, Turkish Airlines announced a 50% discount on flights for people coming to Turkey for medical treatment.

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Thailand’s Stock Exchange (SET) welcomes cosmetic and skincare marketer KISS

KISS develops, contract manufactures and markets beauty and healthcare related products in both local and overseas markets

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BANGKOK, February 18, 2021 – The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) will list Rojukiss International PLC, a leading developer, contract manufacturer, and marketer of skincare, color cosmetic, food supplement products, on February 19 under the ticker symbol “KISS”.

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