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Social Media in Thailand is the most used tool to deceive the elderly


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Facebook has become the most widely used tool to mislead the elderly, Thai experts claimed at a seminar hosted by the elderly and their families.

Data from the Thai National Bureau on seniors’ internet use shows that the group is most often misled when browsing Facebook pages, said Jaruwan Sriphakdee, director of Thailand’s Department of Rights Protection and Assistance to the Elderly.

According to the data, 44 percent of seniors are misled by Facebook posts, 31.25 percent by Line chats, and 5.25 percent by Instagram posts, he said. Jaruwan, speaking at an online seminar organized by the Thai Consumer Council (TCC) and alerting the elderly and their families to the dangers of social media fraud.

Jaruwan explained that older people are more misled on Facebook than on other social media platforms, as older people use the portal to keep up to date with current events, meet friends, and shop.

The seminar also learned that the number of complaints received by the Electronics Transactions Development Agency last year increased by 20 percent to around 50,000.

Praparat Chaiyos, a senior official at the agency, said most of the complaints were about online purchases of goods that did not meet the advertised quality. She said that most of the complainants were 40 years or older.

The misleading messages often include made-up stories, time limits for making purchases, and older presenters. She cited advertisements that seniors used to present ointments to relieve knee joint pain, enticing many older customers to waste money on the useless products.

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

At the same seminar, Pasawat Jumpa, head of the ad monitoring division of the Consumer Protection Council, said most the deceptive ads claimed huge discounts on their products. The suppliers also made unverifiable claims, such as that their products were top sellers or guaranteed to prevent Covid19.

Thailand now has more than 10 million elderly people, a number that according to the plv. the secretary-general of the TCC, is rising sharply, citing data from the Provincial Administration.

As a result, it is imperative that their younger relatives help protect them from online cheating, he added.

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