Fake love, real trouble: Thai man’s romance scam unravels

Photo via Facebook/ ตำรวจไซเบอร์ – บช.สอท.

Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) officers arrested a Thai man for operating a romance scam by using a fake social media profile of an attractive foreign man to deceive a Thai woman.

A Thai woman filed a complaint to the police at the end of last year. The victim reported that the scammer, called Roland, contacted her via Instagram before subsequently shifting to WhatsApp. They started a long-distance relationship, and the man expressed his desire to give her a gift.

The woman explained that the foreign man informed her that he would send her jewellery and money. He urged her to pay a delivery fee, taxes, and other charges in advance and would pay back to her later. The woman transferred the alleged fees to the scammer 19 times leading to the loss of over 1 million baht.

The victim never received the gifts and decided to report the issue to the police.

The police conducted a further investigation into the case and discovered that the bank account was issued under the name of a 25 year old Thai man named Arun. Officers managed to arrest Arun on Monday, September 11.

Arun was arrested at his home in the Chalerm Prakiat district in the central province of Saraburi. He denied the allegation, alleging that he was not the mastermind behind the scam. He said that he too was also a victim who was lured into insuring a bank account for a scammer.

Arun initially faces two charges including:

  • Section 343 of the Criminal Law: committing public fraud. The penalty will be imprisonment of up to five years, a fine of up to 100,000 baht, or both.
  • Section 14(1) of the Computer Act: importing forged data into the computer system in a manner that is likely to cause damage to that third party or the public. The penalty will be imprisonment for up to five years and a fine of up to 100,000 baht.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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