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200 people file complaints with Pattaya police after losing money from alleged pyramid scheme

Caitlin Ashworth

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200 people file complaints with Pattaya police after losing money from alleged pyramid scheme | The Thaiger
Stock photo by Dylan Gillis for UnSplash
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Pattaya police say 200 people have filed complaints after losing money to the dodgy online money-making app by “SPM Shopping Mall,” which appears to be a huge pyramid scheme. This week alone, 70 people, Thai nationals and foreigners, filed complaints with Pattaya City Police. Officers suspect around 10,000 people in Thailand fell victim to the scam, losing millions of baht altogether.

In reports filed with Pattaya police, victims say the suspects advertised the online investments on LINE and Facebook groups, as well as in comments made on Facebook. Victims say they had to make a minimum investment of 500 baht, according to the Pattaya News. A source told The Thaiger that the scheme entices people to make an investment with the promise of a 3-fold profit within 10 to 14 days.

The victims were asked to rate items in an online shopping mall by “clicking” on the item as a positive rating and they would be rewarded based on the number of “clicks” and the money invested, a source told The Thaiger. The more money invested, the more opportunities to “click” items.

The Pattaya News says victims had to play and watch online advertisements around 60 times and were apparently supposed to earn a 6% gain from their initial investment. Some victims say they invested up to a million baht, Pattaya News says.

When the money transfers did not go through as promised, victims attempted to contact the admin in their LINE chat group, but no one got a reply, a source told The Thaiger.

More than 28 LINE chat groups have been reported as well as various websites linked to the “SPM Shopping Mall.” The domains were registered in different cities in China and Hong Kong between March 2020 and December 2020 under the name Xiao Dong Gan, according to a source. The first domain was hosted by a server in Bangkok’s Bang Na district, the source says.

Here are some of the domains for the “SPM Shopping Mall”…

1: https://spm.baironghj.com

2: https://spm.diyinobuone.com

3:https://spm.klayky.com/

4: https://shoppingmall.ubsguoji.com

5: https://shoppingmall1.klayky.com

6: http://shoppingmall.diyinobuone.com

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 10:36 am

    A fool and his money are soon parted.

    A million baht? What idiots!

    • Avatar

      Frank

      Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 12:04 pm

      🙂

    • Avatar

      j

      Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 9:15 am

      million baht when you sum all together

  2. Avatar

    Bill

    Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 8:57 pm

    So victims were trying to scam people with false positive ratings for a three-fold profit withing two weeks and now they are upset that they themselves got scammer.. GOOD.

  3. Avatar

    Kuhn David

    Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 9:21 pm

    If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Greed is the bottom line here.

    • Avatar

      Sami

      Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 10:35 pm

      Greed, yes, in some cases probably true; and also perhaps grasping for straws out of desperation, given the hard times that have befallen on many. I am always careful not to judge people’s actions and motivations.

  4. Avatar

    Ben

    Monday, February 15, 2021 at 1:09 am

    Apparently was a fairly sophisticated scam with the perpetrators putting a lot of effort into the programming of these sites. Lots of scams coming from China, Russia and North Korea.

    If it sounds too good to be true then it is. Not probably. It is too good to be true.

    I lost $6,250 once in a scam when I was a young man. I trusted a relative and that coupled with my lack of financial sophistication, at the time, led to my loss. I now consider it a small cost to learn a valuable lesson.

    -Don’t invest in anything you don’t completely understand.
    -Only invest with institutions you know. A web portal? No way. A money center bank, Vanguard or Fidelity – I’m good with that.
    -Invest only in things where the risk is commensurate with the reward. A 5% a month risk free return with Kasikornbank doesn’t make sense given interest rates in the financial markets. It’s a scam because of the risk free return even though the financial institution seems legitimate.
    -Land in Thailand for foreigners. Don’t assume transactions in foreign lands are governed by the same rules in your home country.

    Due your due diligence and don’t be lazy when it comes to taking care of your hard earned money.

    Have a good day.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Bangkok

Royal Thai Police accused of “ticket” promotion system to buy senior positions

Caitlin Ashworth

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Royal Thai Police accused of “ticket” promotion system to buy senior positions | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

The Royal Thai Police are being accused of using so-called “elephant tickets” to buy their way into promotions and pay their way up the police force’s chain of command. The corruption among the police force and the buying of positions without meeting the requirements for a promotion has been a longtime problem, according to the Bangkok Post.

The “elephant ticket” issue was recently brought to light by an opposition MP at a censure debate who said it fast tracked the promotion system and allowed some people who were unqualified and undeserving to raise their rank. Some Thais have protested the “elephant ticket.” Many gathered in front of the Royal Thai Police headquarters in Bangkok last week, including one person who dressed up as an elephant.

At the censure debate on February 19, Move Forward Party MP Rangsiman Rome called out PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, who chairs the Police Commission overseeing the Royal Thai Police, and said the prime minister allowed the “elephant ticket” promotions. Prayut later said there were problems within the police force and that he would handle it.

Police who want a promotion need a ticket, which is basically just a reference or a stamp of approval from a senior officer or even a politician or business person. To get an “elephant ticket,” some can pay for the ticket. A source told the Post that positions for police superintendents cost between 5 to 10 million baht.

Others can get a ticket by doing favours for their superior or even just serving their superior for a long time, sources told the Bangkok Post. The higher the position a senior officer has, the more tickets they have to give out.

To read the full special report by the Bangkok Post, click HERE.

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Crime

Woman talks about the life of a Thai “pretty” after model’s death

Caitlin Ashworth

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Woman talks about the life of a Thai “pretty” after model’s death | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Instagram/ wawa_manika

Following the news of a model who died after working as a hostess at a Bangkok party, Thai media spoke with a woman, known in Thailand as a “pretty,” about what it’s like to work in the lucrative, yet shady Thai model entertainment industry where many work as hostesses at parties and events that often involve alcohol, drugs and sex work.

“Miss Cake” told the Thai news outlet Daily News that pretties are sent to parties by “modelling agencies.” The parties are even categorized depending on if drugs or sex are involved. Apparently the parties are either “En-Up,” “En-V” or just “En” for entertainment. En-Up means drugs are involved, while En-V means the pretties will offer sexual services. Other pretties work at promotional events like auto shows. Since nightclubs and other entertainment venues in Bangkok have been closed due to the pandemic, many of the parties are now held at private homes.

If a pretty is working at an En-Up party, Miss Cake says that means there will be ecstasy, known as “khanom,” the Thai word for a dessert or snack. She says good “khanom” shipped from overseas costs around 900 to 1,000 baht while the poor quality, Thai-made drugs cost 500 baht. Just about every pretty takes drugs, she says. If mixed with ketamine, Miss Cake says it can be dangerous.

Daily News spoke with Miss Cake following the death of a 33 year old Witchayaporn “Wawa” Wisetsombat who worked died in a hospital after working as a hostess at a party in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district. She had been hired by a modelling agency to serve drinks at a private party. Her younger sister told the Bangkok Post that Wawa was a product presenter and never sold sex or used narcotics. Doctors told the Post Wawa died from respiratory and blood system failure. They are still waiting for the results for a toxicology test.

The death of another model back in 2019 shed light on the abuse and danger many pretties face in the industry. 25 year old Thitima “Lunlabelle” Noraphanpiphat died from “extreme alcohol intoxication,” according to an autopsy report. Her dead body was found in the lobby of a Bangkok condominium. 6 people were found guilty for involvement in Lunlabelle’s death.

Abuse is common in the industry and many women working as pretties are often pressured into drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. The work of pretties is looked down upon in Thai society. Due to the stigma, many due not file complaints when they are abused.

SOURCE: Thai Visa

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Crime

Bangkok police raid house where model died after playing hostess

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Bangkok police raid house where model died after playing hostess | The Thaiger

Bangkok police are investigating a model’s death after raiding a Chatuchak district house where the model died after being hired as a hostess. The model, Whitchayaporn ‘Wa’ Visessombut, was hired along with other women to serve drinks and entertain guests at a private residence last Monday. Then, the next day, she died of respiratory failure after being brought unconscious to Paolo Hospital Kaset.

Investigators say they obtained a text chat history between the 33 year old model and her agent the day she was hired for the job. The chats revealed a receipt for a 30,000 baht money transfer to 4 hostesses, including Whitchayaporn, for their work. 6 other hostesses from a different agency were also hired to work the party.

Police say between 5 and 7 men were at the party along with 10 women with the use of drugs allegedly being involved.

Upon raiding the 4 storey‐high home, investigators say it featured an “unusually high wall” which stood about 2.5 metres tall. The house had security cameras but no one was home at the time of the raid. Officers say a luxury car was parked at the residence along with a BMW motorcycle.

Police say they are still are waiting for the autopsy results of the dead woman. Her relatives have already begun seeking assistance as they are afraid her case could turn out to be as complicated as that of model Thitima ‘Lunlabelle’ Noraphanpiphat, who was found dead in a similar situation back in 2019.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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