Vietnam: VND10 trillion lost to online scams in 2023

In 2023, the total amount of money lost due to online scams was estimated to be around VND8-10 trillion, 1.5 times higher than that in 2022.


According to statistics, 91 percent of these fraudulent activities were related to financial schemes, with 73 percent of mobile device and social media users frequently targeted by scam messages and calls.

This information was revealed at the seminar "Enhancing Security and Safety in Non-cash Transactions," organized by the Cybersecurity and High-Tech Crime Prevention Department, in collaboration with the Payment Department and Communications Department of the State Bank of Vietnam, Tuoi Tre newspaper, Napas National Payment Corporation, Ho Chi Minh City Department of Industry and Trade, and other organizations. The seminar took place on the afternoon of June 14 in Ho Chi Minh City.


Mr. Le The Chu, Editor-in-Chief of Tuoi Tre Newspaper, highlighted that over the past six years, the "Cashless Day" program has organized five national seminars on diverse topics, including building strategies for advancing towards a cashless nation, digital transformation to foster cashless society, and data integration to promote cashless transactions. However, alongside the rapid growth of cashless payments, sophisticated scams and frauds have increased significantly, taking advantage of the conveniences of cashless transactions. Therefore, the theme for the "Cashless Day" program in 2024 is focused on promoting the development of safe cashless transactions.

Deputy Chairman Nguyen Van Dung of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee revealed that all public hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City have now adopted cashless payment systems. In the commercial sector, three wholesale markets, 222 traditional markets, 237 supermarkets, and 48 shopping centers across the city have participated in cashless transactions. Moreover, in online public service delivery at level 4, the adoption rate has surpassed 30 percent, playing a pivotal role in promoting cashless payments.

However, during the rollout of cashless payment activities, the city has faced several challenges, particularly concerning security and user safety, which have hindered widespread adoption.

According to data from the State Bank of Vietnam, as of the end of 2023, there were over 182 million individual payment accounts in the country, covering 87.08 percent of adults with bank accounts. Many banks have processed more than 95 percent of transactions through digital channels. Moreover, transactions via mobile devices and QR codes have shown robust growth in recent times.

Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc said that the Ministry of Finance is a pioneer in non-cash transactions, and also directed the General Department of Taxation, the General Department of Vietnam Customs, and the State Treasury to deploy many solutions to promote cashless transactions.

In the past, every treasury had a money warehouse and money carts. But now cash is no longer used, so the warehouse is abandoned, and the money cart is auctioned. More than 99 percent of budget revenue and expenditure transactions are now no longer using cash. Forty-thousand state units have authorized the treasury to automatically pay expenses, with a total amount of more than VND3 trillion.

According to Minister Ho Duc Phoc, in the coming time, the Ministry of Finance will continue to perfect the legal framework and mechanisms and policies on non-cash payments in State budget revenues and expenditures. At the same time, the ministry will upgrade and develop a modern, safe, effective, and interoperable payment infrastructure and promote State budget revenue and expenditure through non-cash payment forms.

Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc speaks at the seminar.

Alongside the growth of cashless payment services, the banking sector also grapples with significant risks and challenges in ensuring security and safety, particularly amidst the rise of high-tech crimes exploiting sophisticated fraud tactics aimed at deceiving individuals.

Major General Nguyen Van Giang, Deputy Director of the Department of Cyber Security and High-Tech Crime Prevention (A05) under the Ministry of Public Security, highlighted the increasingly complex nature of high-tech crimes, which involve intricate connections between domestic and international actors. In 2023, the total amount defrauded from individuals online amounted to approximately VND8-10 trillion, 1.5 times higher than in 2022. Statistics indicate that 91 percent of these fraud cases are linked to the financial sector, with about 73 percent of mobile device and social media users regularly receiving fraudulent messages and calls.

In 2023, A05 verified and detected many cases of hackers and cyber spies stealing and encrypting large amounts of important data. At the same time, in coordination with local police, A05 prosecuted more than 1,500 cases, mainly related to cyber fraud crimes.

Authorities have dismantled over 20 criminal gangs, seized numerous devices mimicking mobile broadcasting stations, and collaborated with Quang Binh police to shut down a large-scale financial scam through the RosyStyle exchange involving nearly VND1.8 trillion. Additionally, police forces in Ho Chi Minh City and Bac Giang cracked down on fraud rings impersonating bank employees, seizing tens of billions of Vietnamese dong.

Delegates at the seminar

Recently, despite ongoing warnings from authorities and vigorous implementation of measures, many individuals still fall prey to scams. The main culprits are organized criminal groups operating across borders, exploiting legal loopholes, and leveraging high technology.

These criminals often base themselves in neighboring countries like Cambodia and Myanmar, with many of their leaders being foreigners. Additionally, social media users' lack of awareness and vigilance regarding sophisticated online fraud tactics and schemes contributes significantly to the rising incidents of online scams.

To prevent online fraud, A05 has been coordinating with the National Cyber ​​Security Association to provide free software to help detect online fraud, expected to launch in the third quarter of 2024.

Other news