Thailand News Today | 8 of the most common “scams” in Thailand


The Thailand’s Consumers Council has drawn up a list of eight typical real-life issues that are decreasing the quality of life for consumers in the country.

During a meeting with the Senate Committee on Human Rights, Rights and Liberty, and Consumers Protection on Monday, the TCC laid out the list of problems they identified. Let’s see if you suffer from one of these issues as well:

  1. Number one is the high cost of public transportation
  2. Being cheated by sellers of defective goods
  3. High cost of services at private hospitals
  4. Being taken advantage of by public service operators
  5. Abuse of the plant whose name we can’t say on Youtube or we’ll lose our advertising revenue, and so instead we refer to it as “the happy plant.”
  6. Bureaucratic obstacles to installing household solar-panel systems
  7. Scammers sending SMS messages, and calls from call-centre gangs
  8. Being taken advantage of by property developers

After laying out these nuisances for consumers across various facets of daily life in Thailand, the TCC proposed some solutions and asked senators and the Cabinet to intervene and enact rules and legislation. They requested a decrease in government overregulation of solar panels that help households save on electric costs and an increase in government under-regulation of the legalisation of the happy plant that has led to rampant recreational use.

They also requested some governmental price controls on medical treatment and transportation. Public transportation costs should be capped at 10% of the minimum wage, according to the TCC’s suggestion to the Cabinet. And they implored a measure that would push private hospitals to use standard pricing for emergency treatments as laid out by the National Health Security Office.

Private hospitals have prices set by the Medical Council of Thailand, but the TCC argued that high salaries set by the council make the cost of treatment too high. When patients come in for an emergency, they often can’t choose which hospital to go to and end up bankrupted from much costlier private hospital fees.

The TCC also asked the government to be more proactive in battling call centre scammers sending SMS messages and making phone calls to milk consumers out of money in various ways. Authorities recently busted a man trafficking Chinese call centre scam workers and added a prefix to all calls coming from IP phone numbers likely to be used by scammers to flag the calls as people receive them.

Finally, addressing consumers being swindled by goods and services and property developers, the TCC called for a bill making defective goods the responsibility of the sellers and manufacturers.

The TCC also argued that property developers be forbidden from keeping funds customers deposit to purchase houses or condos if the buyer is unable to be approved for a bank loan and the deal falls through.



The Internal Security Operation Command urged Bangkok’s open-air film festival to avoid screening movies or documentaries related to torture in the deep south provinces of Thailand. The military department said the event should only bring happiness and smiles to residents.

Bangkok’s open-air film festival, which rolled out the red carpet on July 7 at Laan Kon Mueng space in front of the Bangkok City Hall, is offering free entrance to cinemagoers until the event closes at the end of this month.

On July 14, the open-air film event, at Khlong Toei Youth Centre in Khlong Toei District, screened an Indian movie RRR, which is about human rights violations and abuses by police officers. To complement the theme, the screening team picked two short documentaries about torture and abuses done by state officers in the deep south provinces as the opening show.

Then on July 16, two days after the event, political activist, Phanupong, revealed on Facebook that the event didn’t go as well as planned.

Phanupong said six officers from the Internal Security Operation Command interrupted the screening at Khlong Toei Youth Centre on July 14. He said the officers asked the team to stop screening the documentaries about the torture in the deep south of Thailand.

The media interviewed Mike on July 18 to get more details about the issue. He explained that the Thai authorities told the screening team, “Our leader doesn’t like movies about torture. It’s a threat to our national security.”

Phanupong said the team continued screening the documentaries despite the officers’ presence in the youth centre until the end of the event. He added that the officers didn’t stop the film rolling and everything went well without any violent reactions.

A representative from the Cross Culture Foundation that produced the documentaries, Ponpen Kongkajonkiat, explained that the documentaries were under a project named Voices from the South, and it was completed last month.

Ponpen said two of the films that were picked depict real situations happening to residents in the deep south. Interviews with residents reveal that they were tortured by the Thai authorities into confessing information. Ponpen stated that violence and abuse are still going on today.

She added “Film is an art piece and a way of communication. It comes from the real stories which no one can conceal even if they tried. Space is needed for art and short films that tell people the truth about Thai society.”

But yesterday, the spokesperson of the Internal Security Operation Command, Winthachai Suwaree, clarified the issue. He said some details were inaccurate, misunderstood, and therefore felt the documentaries maybe weren’t suitable to screen at the event.



The Thai cabinet met yesterday to officially extend the State of Emergency in Thailand. This will be the 19th extension; it will prolong the Emergency Decree put in place due to the Covid pandemic.

The decree, which was first invoked by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha back in March of 2020, gives the government sweeping powers. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration was formed under the emergency orders and has been responsible for setting measures, including health regulations, travel restrictions and entry schemes.

Infection rates are rising and, though many cases are mild, more severe cases with serious illness and the need for ventilators have also increased in the past week as well.

CCSA spokesperson said the extension of the emergency decree is solely aimed at protecting people from Covid-19 spreading, not to limit people’s freedoms and rights. However, human rights organisations and opposition parties claim that the government IS using the unnecessary decree to quash pro-democracy groups and limit free expression. Under the Emergency Decree, it is easy for the government to declare protesting in the street as a Covid-19 risk and prosecute people on those grounds.

The Cabinet insists though, that extending the emergency decree was solely due to the increasing number of new Covid-19 infections in Thailand.



Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt yesterday revealed he is to introduce five new policies in an attempt to address common corruption schemes in the capital.

The 56 year old City Hall leader announced the policies at a press conference sitting alongside members of the Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand.

The governor’s first initiative is to speed up the issuing of licences for residents wanting to build small houses. Chadchart declared this measure would stop bent officials from slowing down the process. It is widely known that some officials are open to speeding up the process if their hands are greased with cash.

The city chief also added that council officials will be prohibited from accepting gifts.

City Hall’s investment arm, Krungthep Thanakom, is to become a member of the Private Sector Collective Action against Corruption (CAC) and require its trading partners to be members as well.

Chadchart insists all BMA-operated hospitals will have to agree to end all commissions on the purchases of medicinal products from pharmaceutical firms.

Furthermore, Chadchart added it is crucial that all City Hall officials acknowledged their part in stamping out grafts and sign the anti-corruption policy document.

There was, however, no announcement of when the initiative would be introduced.

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