Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) Commissioner Pol Lt Gen Kornchai Klaiklung said police were in talks with the Bank of Thailand and the Thai Bankers Association to find a solution, reports the Bangkok Post.
“The first checks revealed that around 40,000 people lost their money because of such transactions,” Lt. Col. Kornchai said, adding that the majority of victims did not realize their money was being withdrawn. because authors typically billed small amounts – albeit repeatedly.
Pol Lt Gen Kornchai said such withdrawals are possible if the perpetrators manage to get hold of customer bank details, which are often stored by online retailers and websites for the convenience of customers.
He said police suspected several gangs were responsible for the crimes, using various methods to commit offenses.
Some gangs “phish” for their victims’ contact details by texting them asking them to fill in their personal information in exchange for discounts and other benefits, he said. As such, he cautioned the public not to fill out their personal information in online forms from links from suspicious and / or unknown senders.
Meanwhile, some charges and withdrawals were made by store workers who stole their customers’ card details when their victims were making a transaction, he said.
The commander of the CCIB’s Cybercrime Analysis Division, Major General Niwet Apawasin, said some of the accusations were made by online gaming platforms. He added that it would be easier to investigate requests registered in Thailand than those registered outside the country.
Police will hold discussions with the Bank of Thailand and online sellers to find ways to prevent such fraud – for example, by mandating registration of online stores or issuing alerts when suspicious withdrawals are made, did he declare.
Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha called on all agencies to take urgent action to end the problem.
The Bank of Thailand and the Thai Bankers Association issued a joint statement on Sunday (October 17th) saying that banks would accept responsibility for unauthorized withdrawals. He did, however, list the names of the banks.
The statement said no commercial banking system was hacked, adding that the irregular transactions were for payment to online stores registered outside of Thailand.
Many victims share their experiences on a Facebook page titled “Unconscious Cash Withdrawal Experience Sharing”.
They questioned the safety and reliability of Thai banks as they did not receive any alerts when unauthorized withdrawals were made. Most victims, in fact, only found out about it by going to a bank to update their passbook.
A victim posted her passbook, which showed 13 withdrawals on October 11, each for B34.15.
The total number of victims was not clear, but the aforementioned Facebook account had more than 57,000 subscribers yesterday.
Deputy police spokesperson Pol Col Kissana Phathanacharoen said victims should ask banks to freeze their accounts and verify their balances once they suspect an unauthorized withdrawal has been made, before proceeding. gather all the evidence to file a police report.
He also said that those who misuse or abuse someone else’s electronic cards face a prison sentence of up to five years and / or a fine not exceeding B 100,000 under the Criminal Code.
Paiboon Amornpinyokiat, a cybersecurity expert, told a TV show that the unauthorized withdrawals were made possible by the failure of banks’ warning systems.
“The alerts were generally supposed to be issued, but they were not,” he said.
He also said that some victims voluntarily gave up their personal information because they were not digitally savvy, adding that the agencies involved should investigate whether the withdrawals were the banks’ fault.