Nearly half the people in Thailand hit by fraudsters, survey shows
Online scams are posing a serious challenge in Thailand, forcing both the government and the private sector to improve security technology and strictly enact data protection regulations.
Between March 1 and May 10, Thai police received 22,426 complaints related to cybercrime, of which 5,079 were directly related to financial fraud. These fraudsters dupe people out of 1.5 billion baht a month on average, police said.
Up to 6,593 bank accounts have been frozen and officials have been able to recover 76.36 million of the 2.06 billion baht damages recorded so far.
Meanwhile, the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) pointed out that in 2021, more than 6.4 million fraudulent phone calls were reported in Thailand, up 270 per cent, while fraudulent SMS messages rose by 57 per cent.
Based on complaints filed in 2021, it was found that more than 1,600 people had fallen victim to call-centre gangs, losing more than 1 billion baht. There were also 48,513 online complaints, more than double the number in the previous year.
Another NESDC survey found that nearly half or 48.1 per cent of the population has been scammed in some way or the other, of whom at least 42.6 per cent have been victims of financial fraud, losing approximately 2,400 baht per person.
Studies show that Gen Y and Gen Z are the most vulnerable to online scams due to the amount of time they spend online. Though Gen X and Baby Boomers are relatively safe, the latter have been found to suffer the highest damage in terms of value.
Besides, more than half of the victims take little or no action because they believe the government’s prevention/management methods are not effective enough.