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Police urge people to beware of three types of online scams

The Royal Thai Police on Monday warned people to cautious about three types of scams on Valentine's Day.

Police spokesman Pol Colonel Siriwat Deepor said the first type is the “romance scam”, in which the scammers create social media accounts using a handsome man as an avatar with fake profiles, such as good working status and a luxurious lifestyle. Most victims are Thai women aged 40 years or above, he said.

Once the victims feel attracted, the scammers will deceive them with cash demands, such as for medical expenses, inheritance tax, concession fees or tariff in exchange for valuable goods.

Online scammers also perpetrate the "hybrid scam", Siriwat said. They will create social media accounts using a beautiful Asian woman as an avatar with believable profiles to lure investors. Most scammers are Chinese, he said.

The scammers will offer varieties of investment schemes, such as foreign currencies with high returns, and forward an application download link to lure the victims to install it on their smartphone.

The victims will earn some profit at the beginning, but it will come with conditions when they want to withdraw their investment, such as they must pay 40 per cent of their profit. Even though the victims pay cash to scammers, they are unable to withdraw their investment.

He said the third type of scamming was “sextortion”. He said the scammers, mostly found to be Filipinos, will create social media accounts using a sexy woman as an avatar to lure victims. Most victims are men with good working status and men with normal families.

Once the victims are lured, the scammers will make a video call and ask the victims to send images and video clips when they help themselves or do sexual activities.

The scammers will then blackmail the victims, threaning to publicise the images and video clips or send it to their wives, supervisors or friends if they do not transfer cash to them. Most victims decide to pay up to save their reputation, the spokesman said.

“The Royal Thai Police would like to ask people not to believe in the scammers to avoid becoming their victims,” Siriwat said.

Anyone who finds anonymous social media accounts can contact the police hotline 191 or the Royal Thai Police hotline 1599 24 hours a day, all week, he added.

Published : February 14, 2022