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

Caitlin Ashworth

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Stock photo by Dylan Gillis for UnSplash

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.

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