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Scam bam thank you mam! Thai PBS anchor scammed out of 1 million baht.

Tim Newton

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A Thai PBS TV anchor is the latest high-profile victim of phone scammers in Thailand. Thai PBS is a government-owned public broadcaster.

Pattima Komolbawonkul posted on her Facebook that she had lost 1 million baht through a phone scam. She claims that the scammer posed as a Thai police officer from the Ranong police (just north of Phang Nga province). The person contacted her and claimed she was implicated in a “national-level money-laundering investigation”.

The scammer was pretending to be a high-ranked Thai police officer in the southern province or Ranong.

“I told the crook that I have never been involved in anything illegal. The crook told me my name was among the suspects to be prosecuted. I asked how would I know you are truly a cop and they threatened me that they will add more charges for insulting officers. They did everything to make me fear.”

The scammers then sent her a fake ID card on Line (a popular social media app) indicating that the person on the phone was a police colonel and the superintendent of Ranong City Police.

The scammers demanded she transfer 1 million baht to an account they provided so they could apparently check with the Thai anti-money laundering office if the money was actually laundered or not. The broadcaster, a former investment consultant, says other details of the money-laundering case were also explained in the discussions, to the extent even she believed it was real.

She transferred the money to the account they provided.

But records of the Line chat were then quickly deleted by the scammers and she quickly realised she had been scammed and lost the million baht she had transferred. (On Line, either party in the chat can delete the full contents of the chat history)

Pattima visited to Thong Lor police station and filed an official police complaint. This time to real police! Patima noted that there were 4 other people at the Thong Lor station making similar complaints from the same scammer.

SOURCES: Khaosod English | Pattima Komolbawonkul Facebook Page

WARNING: Be aware of increasingly sophisticated and elaborate scams, especially anything on the phone or online. DO NOT transfer money under any circumstances unless you can corroborate the conversations or IDs.

 

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    Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2011. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 42 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program (public radio Australia), presented over 11,000 radio news bulletins, 3,950 in Thailand alone, hosted 1050 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. He also reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand. As founder of The Thaiger in 2016, Tim is the current English Content Manager for the company, based in their Bangkok HQ.

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