Ministry to protect Thai elderly from potential scammers

Photo courtesy of PR Newswire

The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security revealed that more than 13 million of the elderly population in Thailand, constituting 20% of the total population, are susceptible to online scams.

The ministry, led by Varawut Silpa-archa, is set to arm the elderly with digital literacy skills through an unprecedented nationwide campaign.

Varawut raised a red flag, noting that the number of elderly in our population is poised to surge to 30% in the next two decades. Fanning the flames of concern, he disclosed the alarming truth that digital media literacy amongst the elderly is still woefully low.

The Intelligence Centre for Elderly Media Literacy (ICEML) at Mahidol University, supported by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth), conducted a poignant study. The results were staggering: a whopping 70.53% of seniors fell prey to scammers, relinquishing their personal information. An additional 22.40% succumbed to purchasing subpar products.

To tackle this crisis, the ministry has forged alliances with ThaiHealth, Mahidol University, and Tammapun Company. Together, they’re launching a robust media literacy curriculum designed explicitly for the elderly. Varawut affirmed that this vital course will be implemented in 2,456 schools tailored for senior citizens.

Benjamaporn Limpisathian, a senior assistant manager from ThaiHealth, outlined the curriculum’s overarching goal: to empower the elderly with media literacy skills, enabling them to navigate the digital realm securely. Benjamaporn further revealed plans to advocate for the creation of an academic centre solely dedicated to media literacy for the elderly, reported Bangkok Post.

ICEML’s president, Associate Professor Nuntiya Dounghummes, underscored the urgency of the situation, asserting that digital media literacy among the elderly is paramount to thwarting potential scams in the future. Nuntiya painted a vivid picture of the programme’s impact.

“By arming our elders with knowledge, we’re erecting a formidable barrier against the perils of online deception.”

In related news, scammers posing as bank agents targeting elderly Thai citizens have recently swindled multiple victims out of their savings.

Crime NewsThailand News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

Related Articles