The Thai Royal Police came out to warn Thais not to fall victim to romance scams after statistics showed that over 403 police reports in January 2023 were related to love frauds, resulting in substantial financial losses to numerous victims totaling over 190 million baht.
As Valentine’s Day is approaching, Thai Police decided to raise awareness about romance scams that are still rampant in the country, with women in their 40s being the most targeted, according to statistics.
Pol. Lt. Col. Noppawan Panya, spokesperson for the Royal Thai Police, told the public on Sunday, February 12th, that 403 police reports nationwide were linked to dating frauds, divided into 168 cases of the victims getting deceived to love and transfer money to the scammers and 235 cases of the victims getting lured into a fraudulent investment.
Pol. Lt. Col. Noppawan described four kinds of tricks that the scammers use to dupe the victims, which included:
- Creating fake hope or sympathy to trick the victim into transferring money
- Luring the victims into a fake investment
- Tricking the victims into clicking a link or downloading an app that will enable the scammer to gain remote access to the victims’ smartphone
- Blackmailing or sextortion
Noppawan warned the public to be aware when they came across a stranger on social media, saying people should never click links, download apps, or send photos of themselves to strangers because they could be scammers.
Most of the time, the fraudsters will use a fake account with an attractive profile picture, and they will use excuses, such as they need money for their medical bills, travel, or fees to send gifts to the victims, to swindle the victims.
In an attempt to solve this alarming problem, the spokesperson stated that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered the Thai Royal Police to crack down on cybercrime, including romance scams, under the campaign “Stop Walk Talk.”
People are urged to call the 1441 hotline or 08-1866-300 immediately if they feel like or are uncertain that they are being scammed. People are also able to report the incidents online via the Thai Police Online website when they fall victim to scammers.