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Renewed focus on cybercrime as complaints against fraudsters pile up


Top police officials met with public and private agencies on Thursday to come up with ways of dealing with call-centre gangs and cybercriminals.

National Police chief Pol General Suwat Jangyodsuk said 22,426 complaints have been filed between March 1 and May 10, while people have been duped out of more than 1.5 billion baht per month.

“Of them, 5,079 cases were of financial fraud," he said. "Up to 6,593 bank accounts were frozen, while officials were able to recover 76.36 million of the 2.06 billion baht lost.”

He said criminals change their methods all the time to escape the law, such as using the difficult to trace Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or opening bank accounts in other people’s names to receive cash from victims.

In most cases, the cash is transferred to many accounts, and the holder of the last account then purchases cryptocurrency from foreign traders via a peer-to-peer platform, he said.

Renewed focus on cybercrime as complaints against fraudsters pile up

To tackle these problems, the Bank of Thailand will review regulations to deal with criminal accounts quickly. The central bank will also cooperate on amending laws, so the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) can lawfully freeze accounts.

“AMLO will also help police by reporting suspicious transactions,” he said.

“The Securities and Exchange Commission will review regulations to take legal action against peer-to-peer cryptocurrency traders and implement guidelines on seizing cryptocurrency from criminals.”

Renewed focus on cybercrime as complaints against fraudsters pile up

Meanwhile, the Digital Economy and Society Ministry and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission will come up with a regulation on how many SIM cards a single person can hold.

“We will also raise awareness via banking apps, the PaoTang app and SMS. For instance, do not transfer funds to anyone if you cannot contact the recipient or hang up as soon as you receive automated phone calls,” he said.

Renewed focus on cybercrime as complaints against fraudsters pile up

He added that a working team will be set up to tackle this issue, and believes cooperation from all sides will make the tackling of cybercrime more efficient. He said the longer a problem is left untouched, the more difficult it becomes to solve.

“Hence, I call on everybody to be careful when transferring cash or providing personal information to others,” he said.

Call the 1441 Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau hotline or Police Cyber Taskforce at (081) 866 3000 for more information. People targeted by cybercriminals can file a complaint at www.thaipoliceonline.com.

Published : May 13, 2022

By : THE NATION