Thai nationals repatriated from Myanmar are being investigated for a call center scam by the CIB.
According to a recent report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), released on 29 August, at least 120,000 people in Myanmar and about 100,000 in Cambodia have been forced to work by gangs running fraudulent call centres.
- The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society in Thailand has assigned the Central Investigation Bureau to investigate a call center scam involving Thai nationals repatriated from conflict-affected Myanmar.
- Measures are being taken by the Thai government to protect its citizens from criminal activities and those responsible for illicit operations.
- The Royal Thai Consulate-General in Kunming is working with the Royal Thai Embassy in Beijing to facilitate the repatriation of Thai citizens who were stranded in Myanmar after crossing the border into China.
Investigation into Call Center Scam
The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society has directed the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) to look into a call center scam that targeted Thai nationals who were repatriated from conflict-affected Myanmar. This request comes after 41 Thais were brought back from Laukkaing in Shan State on November 18, with the group consisting of innocent individuals, traffickers, and others who were tricked into participating in the scam.
Several cities in mainland Southeast Asia were identified last year by the Thai government as hotspots for fraudulent operations. This includes several cities in the Shan State, located in the eastern part of Myanmar, which shares a border with China to the north. Additionally, Poi Pet, Sihanoukville, and Svay Rieng in Cambodia, as well as other locations including the Philippines, were also identified as sites of concern.
Protection Measures for Thai Citizens
Officials have conducted background checks on the evacuees to determine their involvement in the scam and to ensure the safety of Thai citizens. These efforts align with the government’s commitment to safeguard its people from criminal activities and the individuals responsible for such illegal operations.
Repatriation Assistance for Stranded Thai Citizens
An additional 266 Thai citizens, who were stranded in Myanmar after crossing the border into China, are scheduled to be repatriated via chartered flights. The Royal Thai Consulate-General in Kunming and the Royal Thai Embassy in Beijing have collaborated to facilitate their return and provide assistance as needed. Upon returning to Thailand, these individuals will undergo immigration and screening procedures to address any potential human trafficking or forced labor issues.
The Rapid Growth of Online Scam in South East Asia
The pandemic, which saw an increase in the number of people engaging in online games to reduce boredom, delivered a large number of potential victims of online frauds. In this case, typical frauds involve selling game assets or a gaming account cheaply, which in most cases, turns out to be fake.
How to avoid online scams in Thailand
To avoid online scams in Thailand, you should:
- Do your research before engaging with any online offer or request. Check reviews, ratings, testimonials, and credentials of the person or company you are dealing with.
- Never send money or personal information to strangers online.Use secure payment methods such as PayPal or credit cards, and avoid wire transfers, gift cards, or cryptocurrencies.
- Be wary of unsolicited emails or calls that ask for your personal or financial details. Verify the identity and legitimacy of the sender or caller before responding.
- Be careful of online relationships that seem too good to be true. Don’t fall for sob stories, requests for money, or promises of marriage from someone you have never met in person.
- Report any suspicious or fraudulent activity to the authorities and your bank.
Source : National News Bureau of Thailand