Males more likely to fall for on­line fraud than fe­males

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS - By GAO YUAN gaoyuan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The num­ber of male vic­tims of In­ter­net fraud was nearly dou­ble that of fe­males last year while con­men were likely to get more money from fe­male Web users on an in­di­vid­ual ba­sis, a re­port on Thurs­day re­vealed.

About 64 per­cent of the fraud vic­tims were male in 2013, ac­cord­ing to Qi­hoo 360 Tech­nol­ogy Co Ltd, a Bei­jing-based In­ter­net se­cu­rity com­pany.

It noted that al­though the num­ber of fe­male on­line shop­pers greatly out­num­bers their male coun­ter­parts, fe­males tend to make pay­ments on a few well-known e-com­merce web­sites while male shop­pers were more ad­ven­tur­ous about pur­chas­ing on­line.

“Men are will­ing to try un­fa­mil­iar sites if prices are lower,” said the re­port.

Some on­line gam­ing, gam­bling and­video-dat­ing web­sites are setup as traps spe­cially de­signed for men. More than 90 per­cent of the vic­tims of on­line gam­ing cons were men andthe ra­tio hit close to 100 per­cent for Web-based video-dat­ing frauds, it said.

Males more eas­ily fall for al­most all the dif­fer­ent types of fraud traps — from on­line shop­ping and ticket buy­ing to top-up ser­vices — than fe­males.

“Gen­er­ally speak­ing, male shop­pers are less sus­pi­cious than fe­males when choos­ing sell­ers and that’s why they are way more vul­ner­a­ble,” the re­port said.

Rel­a­tively un­so­phis­ti­cated and easy-to-de­tect phish­ing sites are the main chan­nels for In­ter­net fraud in China, with males in greater dan­ger, al­though most of them be­lieve they pos­sess bet­ter com­puter knowl­edge than fe­males, said Qi Xiang­dong, pres­i­dent of Qi­hoo.

“It is as­ton­ish­ing that a sim­ple fraud can net tens of thou­sands of Chi­nese In­ter­net users,” he said.

The com­pany has re­ceived more than 30,000 com­pen­sa­tion re­quests from its cus­tomers claim­ing they have been cheated by phish­ing web­sites. More than 2.2 mil­lion phish­ing sites were de­tected by the com­pany last year.

Phish­ing sites are de­signed to ac­quire money and sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion such as credit card num­bers and pass­words from vis­i­tors.

“The na­ture of on­line fraud tends to be straight­for­ward and tech­no­log­i­cally sim­ple be­cause high-tech frauds tend to be ex­pen­sive to set up and their per­pe­tra­tors may re­ceive harsher pun­ish­ments if they get caught,” said Qi.

Al­though it is harder to con fe­male shop­pers, they tend to lose more money if they are swin­dled, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

The aver­age money lost is close to 1,600 yuan ($257) for each fe­male while the sum was less than 1,400 yuan among males.

Fe­males do not fall into fraud traps eas­ily but if they do and lower their guard, they are more likely to lose more money, said the re­port.

Qi said be­cause In­ter­net se­cu­rity risks re­main rife, both the pub­lic and govern­ment should put more en­ergy into cracking down on on­line crime.

“The cen­tral govern­ment set up a high-level cy­ber se­cu­rity of­fice this year. It’s a strong sig­nal that the na­tion will beef up its abil­ity to safe­guard Web se­cu­rity,” Qi said.

China is the world’s largest mar­ket for on­line re­tail­ing. Turnover for the coun­try’s on­line re­tail sec­tor is ex­pected to in­crease from $294 bil­lion in 2013 to $672 bil­lion in 2018, a com­pound an­nual growth rate of 18 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to re­search com­pany For­rester Re­search Inc.

KUANG LINHUA/CHINA DAILY

Ts­inghua Univer­sity stu­dents pick up de­liv­er­ies of on­line shop­ping. Male vic­tims of In­ter­net fraud nearly dou­bled those of fe­males last year, ac­cord­ing to Qi­hoo 360 Tech­nol­ogy Co Ltd, a Bei­jing-based In­ter­net se­cu­rity com­pany.

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