Woman arrested and freed on bail in Furby doll scam
The increasing popularity of the robot toy, Furby, has led to some Internet scams.A woman suspected of being behind an Internet scam turned herself in after a court approved an arrest warrant for her earlier this week, police told the press yesterday.
Chonnikarn Taichilasoonthorn, 27, faces fraud charges for allegedly using a 16-year-old girl to post advertisements on Instagram to sell Furby dolls and scammed buyers to put money in her bank account.
However, the suspect has denied these allegations.
The Criminal Court later yesterday granted her temporary release on a bail of Bt1.7 million paid by her father.
Chonnikarn claims that one of her regular customers called Nat wanted to use her website to sell the Furby toys, and as the website included her personal banking data, Nat decided to use her bank account for the transactions.
The suspect said she withdrew the money earned from the sales of Furby and at times sent up to Bt1 million in cash to Nat via messenger. She said that Nat claimed that since she was half-Italian, she was not able to open her own bank account.
So far, 52 buyers have filed complaints about being scammed out of money, and police estimate a loss of up to Bt7 million and believe there might be more victims.
Police added that Chonnikarn would be detained and an investigation would be launched to see if she was telling the truth.
Furby, resembling a hamster or owl-like creature, became a "must-have" toy in the late 1990s. More than 40 million Furbies were sold during the three years of its original production.
The interactive speech-mimicking toy recently became a big hit among Thai youngsters and adults after popular actresses were pictured with their Furbies. The price for each toy sold on the Internet ranges from Bt3,900 to Bt6,000.
A new Furby released last year has more expressive LCD eyes, a wider range of motions, its own iOS app, and the ability to adapt its personality in reaction to user behaviour.