The Philippines joins Anti-Scam Asia Summit by GASA and Gogolook; Unveils first Asia Scam Report for Asian Countries

20231120 Anti-Scam Asia Summit0199.jpeg

The first-ever Anti-Scam Summit Asia (ASAS) kicked off in Taipei, Taiwan by non-profit organization Global Anti-Scam Alliance (GASA) and leading TrustTech provider Gogolook, the company behind the anti-scam app Whoscall in the Philippines. Under the theme of “Turning the Tide in Asia,” the summit brought together regional stakeholders from government, law enforcement, industry, and academia to discuss the latest trends in digital scams and formulate strategies to combat these evolving threats. Hon. Alexander K. Ramos, Undersecretary for the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (DICT-CICC), represented the Philippines throughout the two-day conference that brought together global leaders and experts in discussing the scam and fraud landscape in Asia.

During the summit, Gogolook and GASA debuted the first-ever Asia Scam Report, a comprehensive analysis of scam trends across the region, aiming to serve as a cornerstone for future policy development and advocacy in anti-fraud measures on a regional scale.

“The shadows of scams are looming larger across the digital expanse of Asia,” stated Jorij Abraham,  Managing Director of GASA. “The 2023 Asia Scam Report released by GASA and Gogolook is a joint effort to illuminate the ways scams infiltrate our daily lives. With a mission to empower consumers to safeguard themselves against scams, we aim to equip stakeholders with the knowledge to serve as both shield and spear against the fraudulent actors operating within Asia.”

Scams are on the rise, fueled by AI and Deepfake technologies
According to the 2023 Asia Scam Report published by GASA and Gogolook, which collected data from nearly 20,000 respondents across 11 regions in Asia, scams have emerged as a new normal in the region, as more than 60% of Asians now face at least one scam each week. Phone calls and SMS messages were the most popular channels for scammers in Asia, with over 75% of respondents reporting that they had received scam calls or SMS in 8 out of the 11 surveyed regions. With the increasing popularity of digital services, scammers are rapidly shifting their focus to messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Viber, as well as social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Identity theft emerged as the foremost concern in Asia, closely followed by shopping scams and investment scams. These findings underscore the pervasive nature of scams, impacting individuals from all walks of life and spanning diverse industries such as finance, e-commerce, government agencies, social networks, and even daily routines.

Adding to the complexity, the rising adoption of AI and Deepfake technologies makes it more challenging for people to discern the authenticity of scams, as the advancements empower scammers to craft highly convincing schemes, further eroding trust between human beings and posing a significant threat to individuals, businesses, and even the society at large.

“The absence of doctrines to stop the spread of cybercrime and the slow progression of defensive measures in order to adapt to the evolving technologies that keep popping up keep putting the public at risk,” mentioned Usec. Ramos during his panel discussion that tackled the complexities of scam rings in Asia. “This is the new pandemic, and it will not stop unless public awareness and doctrines are put in place.”

In light of AI’s fast-growing influence, GASA and Gogolook are actively fostering dialogue and knowledge sharing on AI-powered scam prevention mechanisms, AI scam awareness education, and supporting responsible AI development to effectively mitigate the risks posed by AI-enabled scams.

Building a safer Asia together with the power of a robust anti-scam community
The report also identified the victims' inability to recognize scams as the primary factor contributing to their susceptibility. This is despite more than 70% of various Asian country populations, the Philippines included, stated in the study that they feel confident in identifying scams.

Other contributing factors included responding too quickly to the scammer’s demands, being enticed by offered incentives, and taking risks despite uncertainties. Even more alarming, nearly 90% of scam victims in Asia could not recoup their financial losses. This highlights the urgent need for continuous fraud prevention education and public awareness campaigns to enhance resilience against the ever-evolving scam tactics. In the meantime, well-designed collaborative mechanisms and accelerated sharing of trends and information among public authorities, businesses, and individuals are also essential to maximize the impact of fraud prevention and form a strong anti-scam community.

“The 2023 Asia Scam Report reveals an unfortunate surge in digital scams across the region, underscoring the urgent need for a coordinated response from all stakeholders, including law enforcement, businesses, and the public,” said Jeff Kuo, CEO and co-founder of Gogolook. “As one of the founding members of GASA, Gogolook has already taken proactive steps to build strong partnerships with law enforcement agencies across Asia to jointly combat fraud. Starting with ASAS, we aim to effectively curb the prevalence of fraud and safeguard the digital landscape by fostering a shift in attitudes and awareness towards scams, building a robust anti-fraud partnership network, and empowering anti-scam initiatives through innovation.”

GASA and Gogolook forge a global alliance to combat the ‘scamdemic’ in Asia
Guided by the core value of ‘Build for Trust,’ Gogolook has been dedicated to collaborating with GASA in uniting the Asian region to establish a global and well-coordinated fraud prevention system. By bringing together the public, businesses, governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, and anti-fraud experts in Asia, the inaugural ASAS, co-hosted by Gogolook and GASA, spearheaded a collective effort to fight against fraud and safeguard communities in Asia, successfully fostered regional dialogue and developed effective anti-scam strategies. Moving forward, ASAS will continue to be a platform to build a safer Asia and looks forward to continuing its work in the years to come.

Aside from upholding strong public-private collaboration, Gogolook will also remain at the forefront of the battle against digital crime through offering AI technology and data-driven anti-fraud services, such as the caller ID and spam-blocking app Whoscall, message managing tool Message Checker, business reputation protection service Watchmen, and comprehensive digital identity solutions, with the aim of turning the tide of the growing scams across Asia.

To access the full Asia Scam Report, please refer to: