The Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) has reported a surge in cybercrime in Thailand, with losses amounting to 6.76 billion baht over the last 70 days.
While the bureau noted a decrease in call center scams, there has been an increase in fraudulent activities related to extra income opportunities and loan scams, which are frequently associated with the prevailing economic difficulties.
The CCIB noted a diverse range of techniques used by criminals to deceive victims online. Despite a decline in certain types of scams, the overall number of online cases continued to rise, reaching 53,179 incidents in the reported period. The majority of these cases, about 50%, involved fraud in selling products and services, amounting to 331 million baht in losses.
The second most common type of scam involved deceptions related to seeking extra income, constituting 10.6% of the cases. Investment scams, though less frequent at 5.3%, resulted in the highest financial damage, totaling 3.1 billion baht. The use of advanced technologies like deep fake has been highlighted as a method for criminals to entice victims and evade detection.
The response to this escalating problem involves various entities, from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission to telecom operators and the Bank of Thailand. The enforcement of the Cyber Crime Prevention and Suppression law since March 2023 has led to some progress, with the government successfully freezing dubious bank accounts and returning funds to victims in 24% of the cases, a significant increase from the previous rate of 2.4%.
The broader picture of cybercrime in Thailand in 2023 shows a staggering 20 billion baht in losses from 185,814 cases, averaging 700-800 cases daily. Call center scams and the installation of malicious apps were among the top-ranked methods of cyber-attacks, with losses estimated at 2.4 billion and 1.4 billion baht, respectively.