Thailand’s DES ministry intensifies fight against rising online fraud

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash.

Damages in Thailand by online fraud have seen a surge, despite a decrease in the victim count to an average of 580 daily complaints, a drop from the earlier 800, the Digital Economy and Society (DES) Ministry reports. This is attributed to the implementation of a new law targeted at curbing cybercrime.

Prasert Jantararuangthong, DES Minister, observed that scammers are seemingly honing in on specific target groups, which have a higher susceptibility to deceit, resulting in more substantial financial losses.

The minister elaborated that the recent activation of the law for the prevention and suppression of cybercrime has made it more challenging for fraudsters to execute their scams, forcing them to employ more intricate deceptive tactics.

In response to the evolving nature of online scamming, the ministry is swiftly developing a war room to fight this menace. This will feature core elements such as the Central Fraud Registry, which aims to broaden the ministry’s responsibility and accountability in combating fraud, and will work in association with around 300 related agencies and organisations.

In addition to this, the ministry plans to upgrade the existing Anti Fake News Center (AFNC) by creating the Task Force Command Center.

This new centre will actively counter online crime and financial fraud, utilising data analytics and artificial intelligence to enhance transparency and impartiality, and to provide the public with precise information.

War room

With the implementation of the war room and command centre, Prasert is optimistic about achieving improved results in online scam prevention by the year’s end. He emphasised the significance of combating online scams, which he considers a critical target for both the ministry and the government.

Apart from this, Prasert has prioritised tasks such as promoting the e-government process and cybersecurity, bridging the digital gap in remote areas, and pushing forward ongoing projects.

Even though Thailand now has a law to combat online scams, Prasert believes that it needs to be supplemented with a comprehensive action plan and cooperation from all involved parties.

The new law on cybercrime prevention and suppression provides victims, banks, and authorities with more tools in the fight against online scams and other unlawful online activities, reported Bangkok Post.

Victims of online scams can now immediately request the suspension of a mule account set up with their stolen identity, through 15 banks’ hotline numbers and file a scam complaint with police stations, both in person and online.

Furthermore, the law empowers banks to temporarily halt a suspected mule account and to employ AI technology to probe illicit transactions. The law also details the punishments for cybercriminals.

The AFNC functions via a social listening tool that collects and verifies data to warn against fake news in four categories, including disaster news, economic news, health products and cosmetics news, and government policy news.

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