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Police solicit help to catch ATM-scammer gangs operating on Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Phuket Police asked for help on Friday to bring scam artists to justice, noting that there are at least three gangs on the island targeting ATM customers.

The conference followed the arrest of two French nationals for attempting to bribe police officers after being caught in an alleged ATM scam (story here).

“People should be aware of possible scams happening here. According to our information, there are three groups of scammers, believed to be of French nationality, operating on the island,” said Sutthichai Thianpho of the Patong Police.

“We think the groups operate in Patong, Rawai, Kamala and Cherng Talay.”

Similar reports have also been heard in Koh Samui, and Phuket police are cooperating with Koh Samui police on those cases, said Lt Col Sutthichai.

Police noted that the scammers will be friendly and approach victims to offer help with an ATM interaction.

“Do not trust anyone who talks to you while you are using an ATM. They might tell you that the machine has a problem and will offer to help by asking to see your card. Then they run the card through a small scanning machine in their hands, about the size of a lighter, to get your card information,” explained Col Sutthichai.

“The scammer will then return the card and watch as you enter your pin number.”

Scammers are likely to be wearing helmets and using several different bank cards at one ATM.

“If you see someone wearing a helmet while withdrawing money or using several cards for transactions, please beware. If you have suspicions of a possible scam, please call 191 to report the time of the incident and the machine location so we can begin an investigation,” said Col Sutthichai.

“We cannot do this alone. The more information we have, the faster we can arrest these criminals.”

— Chutharat Plerin

 

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