Pandemic boom for fortune-telling industry in Thailand


THE fortune-telling industry in Thailand saw a boom in the past three years, with increasing number of Thais seeking divine guidance to navigate through the Covid-19 pandemic, China Press reported.

According to A Duang, a startup whose fortune-telling application has grown to nearly half a million users, the fortune-telling industry saw a 25% growth in a short span of time.

Before the pandemic, the industry was estimated to be 4 billion baht (RM505mil) and it has grown to over 5 billion baht (RM631mil) now.

A Duang’s platform currently has more than 7,000 fortune tellers using it to offer their services.

Users pay between 10 (RM1.26) baht and 100 baht (RM12.63) to have their fortunes told.

Personal consultations are also available but cost more.

Users are estimated to be spending five times more after the pandemic, averaging at 500 baht (RM63.15) per month per user.

Businesses were reported to be jumping on the bandwagon and offering innovative products to believers in fortune telling, including digital talismans for good luck in the form of non-fungible tokens.

There were also insurance companies offering extra protection coverages for those who were fated to have bad luck for the year.

> Scam call centres were found to be luring young Malaysians in need of money with the promise of earning lucrative sums by working for them, reported China Press.

Reporters from the daily pretended to be jobseekers and contacted a recruiter for one of these call centres based in Cambodia via WhatsApp.After brief introductions, they were added into a WhatsApp group and were told that the job offer was for a customer service role at a casino in Cambodia.

It was earlier reported that a group of 16 Malaysians, who were lured to Cambodia under the guise of working for a casino, ended up being trapped and forced to work for a scam call centre.

Not only were they not paid the USD$1,700 (RM7,200) promised to them, they had to spend between 12 and 16 hours a day chatting with strangers online in a bid to scam their money.

● The above article is compiled from the vernacular newspapers (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil dailies). As such, stories are grouped according to the respective language/medium. Where a paragraph begins with this ' >'sign, it denotes a separate news item.

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