Fraud frenzy: Thai police reveal Internet scam’s billion-baht blow

Picture courtesy of Herald Sun

Online consumer fraud, the leading Internet scam, has resulted in damages exceeding 1 billion baht in the initial quarter of the year, as disclosed by the Royal Thai Police (RTP).

Karom Polpornklang, the deputy government spokesperson, stated that on the RTP website, some 26,507 online fraud instances were reported. The total damage was calculated to be 4.65 billion baht, averaging 149 million baht per day.

The principal form of scam reported through the RTP website was consumer fraud, involving con artists deceiving victims into purchasing goods or services digitally. The cost inflicted by these scams on victims totalled 1.02 billion baht, informed Polpornklang.

Other prevalent scams included deceiving individuals into transferring money for supposed additional income, causing aggregate damage of 466 million baht. Loan scams also appeared, where victims were coerced into repaying substantially more money than the original loan due to exorbitant interest rates, resulting in 112 million baht in damages.

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The baiting of individuals to invest in digital assets led to 1.1 billion baht in losses, while call centre scams caused a loss of 289 million baht.

In March, Karom revealed, the RTP froze 28,233 bank accounts linked to online scams, securing around 588 million baht from an estimated total damage of 1 billion baht.

Siriwat Deepho, the RTP deputy spokesman, shared that acting Police Chief, Kitrat Panphet, expressed serious concern over the magnitude of losses suffered by victims and the number of individuals who had either knowingly or unknowingly surrendered control of their bank accounts to scam artists or call centre gangs.

Siriwat explained that mule accounts are central to all online fraud, emphasising the importance of not disclosing bank details or selling bank books for minor profits, reported Bangkok Post.

“Individuals whose names are utilised for mule accounts will face a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a fine of up to 300,000 baht.”

Siriwat further added that those involved will be viewed as members of the scam networks and will receive equivalent punishment to the fraud ringleaders.

Crime NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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