The Royal Thai Police have raised an alarm and urged the public to be extra vigilant against online scammers during the Songkran holidays after an alarming surge in reported fraud cases. Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang, a special advisor to the police department, disclosed that a total of 5,269 cases of fraud were reported between April 2 and 8, 2023. The victims, unfortunately, lost a staggering amount of 312.5 million baht to the scammers.
The reported fraud cases were diverse and included 2,600 online shopping scams, 719 job posting scams, 539 loan fraud cases, 286 cases of online investment fraud, and 276 call center scams. Lt Gen Sompong cautioned that online shopping scams have become particularly rife, taking advantage of the upcoming Songkran festivities, with scammers offering tempting deals on products like water guns and shirts.
The special advisor further warned the public to beware of Ponzi schemes where scammers use the lure of significant returns to entice their victims to invest their money. He also urged consumers to be wary of lending scams, where criminals deceive people into providing collateral for non-existent loans. Lt Gen Sompong advised that people must be sure to verify the authenticity of any parties they are dealing with before making investments or conducting transactions online.
This call for caution comes amid a growing trend of cyber fraud in Thailand. As people become increasingly reliant on online transactions and digital payments, criminals have been quick to capitalize on the situation, creating new scams and schemes to defraud unsuspecting victims. The police have reiterated their commitment to fighting cybercrime and urged the public to report any suspicious activities or incidents immediately. They also advised the public to take precautions such as using secure payment channels, being cautious about sharing personal information online, and avoiding clicking on links from unknown sources.