Online Scams Cost Thailand Billions


The Royal Thai Police (RTP) has reported that online scams caused over 1 billion baht in damages in the country during the first quarter of this year, with consumer fraud being the primary culprit.

Deputy Government Spokesman Karom Polpornklang detailed that a staggering 26,507 online scam cases were registered through the RTP’s official website, accumulating a total loss of 4.65 billion baht, which averages 149 million baht per day. Consumer fraud alone accounted for losses of 1.02 billion baht, making it the most prevalent type of scam.

Other scams included schemes promising high returns on money transfers, which resulted in 466 million baht of damages, and loan scams, which led to victims paying exorbitantly high-interest rates, causing a total loss of 112 million baht. Investment scams involving digital assets and call center frauds were also notable, incurring losses of 1.1 billion baht and 289 million baht, respectively.

In response to these alarming figures, the RTP suspended 28,233 bank accounts linked to online fraud, effectively freezing approximately 588 million baht of the total estimated losses.

RTP Deputy Spokesman Pol Maj Gen Siriwat Deepho warned that individuals allowing their bank accounts to be used for fraudulent activities, referred to as mule accounts, could face legal repercussions. These include imprisonment for up to three years and fines reaching 300,000 baht. These account holders will be considered complicit in the fraud schemes, subject to penalties comparable to those meted out to the masterminds behind the scams.

The preceding is a press release from the Thai Government PR Department.

Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than four years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.