Another Tinder crypto-scammer arrested

Police have arrested another Tinder crypto-scammer, the seventh member of a gang of fraudsters who allegedly dupe people into investing in a fake cryptocurrency scheme using fake profiles on dating apps.

Chinese national Baoxun Zhan, 35 years old, was arrested outside the government complex on Chaeng Wattana Road in Thung Song Hong on Wednesday.

Zhan will face charges of collusion in public fraud and putting false information into a computer system, Pol Maj Gen Athip Phongsiwaphai, commander of the Technology Crime Suppression Division, said on Thursday.

Six alleged accomplices, two Chinese nationals and four Thais, were previously arrested.

The gang is one of many who prey on the kind of people who think a dating app is a good place to find an investment. The group opened numerous fake accounts on Facebook and Tinder to attract people into investing in their fake cryptocurrency scheme.

It seems that there are still an almost unlimited number of potential victims lining up to fall prey to crooks like Zhan and his accomplices. Questions must soon be asked whether such people really merit police protection when they have not taken even the most rudimentary steps to protect themselves. Apparently, they have not even read the terms and conditions of the dating app concerned let alone requested any credentials from their new-found lover-cum-financial advisor.

The suspect and his gang told potential victims they had become wealthy from the investment themselves. Why anyone would believe such a story is anyone’s guess. It requires extraordinary fortitude to go to the police claiming to have sent money to a random stranger you met on Tinder.

Victims transferred money to the gang, claiming that only later did they suspect they had been swindled when they could not withdraw their funds or returns. A group of “victims” complained to police that they had lost 3 million baht (US$80,000), but appear to have offered no explanation why they chose to invest in a scheme that was transparently illegal from the outset. Subsequently, arrest warrants were issued for those involved.

Police had previously arrested six gang members. During questioning, Baoxun denied any involvement, but investigators believe he was a leading member of the gang. The suspect was handed over to Samrong Nua police station.

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Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.