National Police Agency, Ministry of the Interior. Republic of China(Taiwan)
Government and people jointly fight online scams Minister Hsu chairs LINE 2018 Cyber Security Project
In Taiwan, more than 19 million people (80% of the population) use the LINE messaging service. To safeguard their online safety, the 2018 LINE Cyber Security Awareness Project kicked off on 21 August during a press conference chaired by interior minister Hsu Kuo-yung. The event aims to strengthen the cooperation between the government and the people and to raise awareness of the public of online safety nationwide.
National Police Agency, MOI statistics for the first half of 2018 show that fake websites and accounts used as scamming tools are spreading quickly across the internet. Young people under 30 years of age are now the leading category of victims, accounting for 46.4% of all victims of online fraud, as middle-aged people are no longer the only easy targets.
Police statistics of 2017 already indicated that online fraud has gone mainstream. As younger people use the Internet and electronic messaging more than anyone else, most Internet fraudsters and their victims fall within the 18-39 age bracket, giving rise to the maxim “Young cons young.”
Against this backdrop, the 2018 LINE Cyber Security Awareness Project is undertaken to make young people become more aware of online safety. Acting as cybersecurity ambassadors, internet celebrities How How, the Crazy Princesses and Tsai A-Ke shot a video clip entitled “Fraud Defender,” showing how internet scams work, emphasizing “When you get it, they won’t get you.” Further details can be seen on the event website: https://security2018.line-apps.com/page/index
As Internet platforms and messaging applications are made increasingly “sticky,” fake websites and fake accounts are becoming more and more common across the Internet. Since October 2017, the Ministry of the Interior shares weekly updates on the latest internet scams and techniques through the Government Open Data Platform, the MOI Open Data Platform and the 165 Anti-Fraud Website to warn people that there is no such thing as a free lunch, and they shouldn’t let themselves be lured by such freebies as stickers or coupons and step into scam traps.
According to police figures, people reported 12,155 cases of internet fraud to the police just for the first half of 2018. Among these, 556 cases involved LINE (4.6% or three cases per day). As LINE is one of the most popular applications in Taiwan, people should be alert to fraud on this application, to avoid becoming the next victim.
Hsu underscored the fact that for the government, fighting internet fraud is a key program. He expressed the hope that the collaboration between the authorities and LINE Corporation would deeply raise people’s awareness of online safety risks and self-protection.