Connect with us


UPDATE: SPM Shopping Mall Scam – do you know someone involved? | VIDEO



YouTube video

So the fallout of the SPM Shopping Mall app scam continues and police around the country are being swamped with official complaints from aggrieved victims, some who lost hundreds of thousands of baht.

Police have already started arresting people allegedly involved with the scam, or who may have been facilitating or encouraging others to join in the pyramid scheme.

A few comments.

Firstly is how reasonable people didn’t see that it was a scam. On the face of it, the whole thing had an air of legitimacy. The app appeared very professional and the idea of getting paid to click on products in order to push up their SEO is not new. Some schemes like this in the past were quite legitimate and some still exist where reviewers are rewarded for positive clicks.

But there were a few red flags with this scam.

Firstly the amounts of money they were offering in return for clicks was very high. The promise of paying participants between 10 – 14 days also had the hallmarks of a classic Ponzi scheme where the monies received from new participants are used to pay the older ones.

The pyramid scheme is where participants are asked to invite others, usually friends, into the scheme, where they will then earn commission from the people they introduce. Then they will earn a proportion of the commission of the people THEY introduce and so on down the line…

Finally, the messages that started coming from the Admins on the Line croups started to increasingly frantic pushing people to invest (indeed) more money into the scheme to make sure they could click on more of the shopping list items.

In the defence of the people that did get involved, they were often invited to get into the scheme by their family or friends, sometimes with stories of success and big earnings… certainly for the people that were involved in the early days and were at the top of the pyramid.

Their assurances and examples of big wins would have been difficult to ignore, even if you had a few niggling suspicions. And for many, their wages had been cut or they’d lost their job during the pandemic… they were more likely to take a risk.

Once on the website, and you clicked on various buttons, was the sound of coins clinking or the graphic roll of a poker machine screen. Of course you were always the winner… or virtual winner anyway.

For the people that acted as Admins of Line groups who were actively involved in procuring new ‘members’ into the scheme and encouraging them all to keep adding more money, whilst being paid 500 baht per day along the way, I have less sympathy for you if you ended up losing money. Likely you were making some decent coin in the early stages and your greed might have just got the better of you as you preyed on the people down the line in the pyramid.

The actual website and digital infrastructure of SPM Shopping Mall was very sophisticated, and, as we already know, took around 6 months to build… allegedly in Hong Kong and China, although regional variations needed people on the ground to open bank accounts and operate as initial Admins.

The elaborate nature of the back-end of SPM Shopping Mall will be difficult to unravel here in Thailand, particularly as the king pins don’t even live here and have, assuredly, left little digital finger prints to track the down.

The Thai police have already started arresting some of the Admins… the middle men, most of them victims of the scam themselves, in some sort of face saving action. 

But the biggest fallout from all of this, as the whole scam continues to unravel, is not just the tens of thousands of people who have lost money… money they probably couldn’t afford to lose… but the loss of friends, family and workmates… and the loss of trust. THAT will take much longer to repair than the the thousands of baht will take to retrieve.

Just in my immediate sphere, some employees from one of The Thaiger peer companies, became involved in the SPM Shopping Mall scam and have lost tens of thousands of baht. And the people they trusted… workmates in the same office, who convinced them to get involved, have now caused a very fractious working environment. And that’s just one office. 

Multiply this across tens of thousands of other offices, groups of friends and family, and you’ll see that this elaborate pyramid scam has caused widespread disruption, WAY beyond a simple loss of money.

If YOU have lost money from this scam, the best you can do is file an official police complaint and contact your bank to see if you can block any recent money transfers. 

And be assured that this WILL happen again and people, again, will fall for the opportunity to make easy money. Another pyramid scam is certainly being put together right now.

Caveat emptor… let the buyer beware.


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Malaysia3 hours ago

Malaysian beauty salon gets makeover as dentistry school

Thailand4 hours ago

Northern floods tragedy – Monks unable to help

Tourism5 hours ago

Xi’s Bangkok APEC trip to open tourist floodgates

Sponsored2 days ago

10 Best Seed Banks that Ship Cannabis Seeds Discreetly to You (Free US Shipping)

Pattaya6 hours ago

Police to curb Pattaya Beach drinking after student gun fight

Phuket7 hours ago

9th and 10th monkeypox infections found in Phuket

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Face masks still required on public transport, in cinemas

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Cannabis News8 hours ago

Pattaya man attacked at gunpoint for selling cannabis

Crime9 hours ago

Police seize 60 suspects in online ‘ghost guns’ sting

Thailand9 hours ago

Bangkok Secret Nightlife – Bangkok Red Light District Secret Museum

Coronation10 hours ago

King Charles III debuts on UK coins

Politics1 day ago

Vladimir Putin officially annexed four parts of Ukraine

Transport1 day ago

Phuket Airport officials pulled tourist from van, insisted they use airport taxi

Thailand1 day ago

Thailand’s strange laws – 10 strange laws in Thailand

Politics1 day ago

The long goodbye – Which way now for PM Prayut?

Pattaya1 day ago

Pattaya Police Chief cleared of vice slurs, back on duty

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11