Connect with us


Opinion: Phuket’s growing reputation for ATM fraud

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: The recent hacking of Government Savings Bank automatic teller machines (ATMs) nationwide raises a host of troubling questions. These relate not only to the identities and whereabouts of the thieves, but also to the general state of security for ATM users in Thailand, the repeated failure of immigration police to keep known foreign criminals from our shores, and the clique’s selection of Phuket as a base from which to operate.

Thai banking has certainly come a long way since ATM machines were first introduced here in the mid-80s. Older readers might remember just what a hassle banking was in the pre-ATM period. There were relatively few bank branches, and those that did exist were typically large and overrun with customers, all of whom had to place transaction slips into a large plastic box and wait for their name to be called.

Also sadly absent at most banks at the time was any queuing system, electronic or manual, with which to ensure that the ‘first-come, first served’ service policy that is now in effect at every bank, could be carried out. It was a good time to know the teller at your local bank.

Despite advances in electronic banking technology, hackers have always lurked on the fringes, ready to take advantage of security breaches.

It is, of course, easy to fall into a false sense of security after making hundreds of painless ATM transactions, but the Phuket Gazette encourages readers to observe all basic security protocols, especially since Phuket has an established and growing reputation for ATM fraud, with foreign residents and tourists often falling victim.

As for the ongoing investigation into the culprits behind this latest ATM scam, the fact that they have successfully exited the country with so much cash does not bode well for the prospects of their arrest. They may now be on some faraway beach sipping Mai Tais and chuckling under their breath as they read this.

We hope the police can do a better job at liaising with international crime-fighting agencies to arrest and extradite such thieves so they can be brought to justice.

At a minimum we hope they will direct more resources to keeping known international criminals off Thai soil, and fewer resources to creating ever more paperwork for long-time, law-abiding foreign residents.


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


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.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Tourism1 hour ago

Alcohol ban predicted to damage Thailand’s reopening, reputation

Crime3 hours ago

Woman who cut safety rope of workers offers feeble excuse

Video3 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Dirty gloves probe, Bocelli & Lisa, ASEAN fallout | October 27

Sponsored11 hours ago

Top 5 dental clinics by Dental Corporations PLC in Thailand

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Police seize Covid-19 antiviral drugs allegedly stolen by hospital manager

Thailand4 hours ago

Student dies after receiving second Covid-19 vaccine shot

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Foreign Ministry denies blocking Poland’s donation of vaccines

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand4 hours ago

Travellers now exempt from quarantine advised to directly contact AQ hotels for refund

Crime5 hours ago

Legal proceedings expected this week for “Joe Ferrari” death in custody case

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 8,452 new cases; provincial totals

Bangkok6 hours ago

Police bust Bangkok pub serving alcohol, 61 arrested

Bangkok6 hours ago

Russell Crowe bids Bangkok goodbye after much-praised tweets

Thailand6 hours ago

Thai government forms panel to probe the export of used medical gloves

ASEAN6 hours ago

Myanmar no-show a focus as ASEAN summit gets underway

Drugs7 hours ago

Police arrest 3 vans in Korat with 1.82 tonnes of marijuana

Thailand7 hours ago

Sedatives and painkillers, Thai new year – 3 million USD on 2 people | Thaiger Bites | Ep. 47

Thailand1 month ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Tourism8 months ago

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

Phuket8 months ago

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

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

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

Tourism8 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand10 months ago

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

Thailand10 months ago

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

Thailand10 months ago

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

Thailand10 months ago

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

Thailand10 months ago

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