Shopee stops all bank payments after hackers steal from customer in Thailand

E-commerce platform Shopee announced a permanent end to purchases made by bank payment starting today onwards. The decision comes after a customer in Thailand was hacked via Shopee and lost tens of thousands of baht from a bank account linked to the app.

The hackers allegedly used the Shopee app to get into bank accounts and transfer money without even needing to enter an OTP (one-time password).

The victim said he lost almost 50,000 baht just from having his bank account details linked to the Shopee app. He said he didn’t even make any purchases.

After he spoke out, around 100 others came forward and reported losing money in the same way.

Yesterday, the Singaporean-based company sent a direct message to all customers through Shopee’s mobile application stating…

“Announcement: Change to payments. Shopee Payment will permanently close the ‘Payment via Bank Account’ channel from December 6, 2022, onwards.”

Customers can pay via PromptPay, ShopeePay, or other channels as normal.

Parinya Hom-anek, a member of Thailand’s National Cyber Security Agency, said cases of hackers stealing from bank accounts via e-commerce platforms are increasing worldwide.

Parinya advises opening a new bank account altogether for online shopping and keeping a minimal amount of money inside it. He warned people not to link their important bank accounts – such as accounts that receive salary payments – with any e-commerce account e.g., Shopee or Lazada.

Most people think online shopping is safe, especially as most online payments these days cannot be made without entering an OTP sent to your mobile phone.

However, scammers seem to be finding their way into bank accounts without the need to enter an OTP more and more often.

In September, a 63 year old woman from Trang province in southern Thailand “clicked one link” and lost her life savings of 1.5 million baht in the blink of an eye in a terrifying tax scam.

Nis said she received a call from a scammer pretending to be an official from Thailand’s Revenue Department. The scammer said she had outstanding tax to pay and sent her a link via Line, which the scammer said would take her to the Revenue Department’s website so she could check her outstanding balance.

Upon clicking the link, Nis said her phone screen went blue and the Revenue Department logo popped up along with the message, “668325, in the process of checking first and surname, do not use the phone.”

Nis said her phone froze and there was nothing she could do. The next thing she knew, she had a notification from her banking app saying she had successfully transferred 1,458,000 baht out of her SCB account and 10,000 baht from her Krungthai bank into a UOB bank account. At no point was she asked to enter an OTP.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.