SCB unscathed by Mae Manee scam
published : 30 Oct 2019 at 17:29
writer: Somruedi Banchongduang
Even though the 400-million-baht Mae Manee ponzi scheme used the same name as a character Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) uses to build customer awareness, the bank insists its reputation has not been affected as victims recognise the difference between the investment fraud scheme and the bank.
SCB found the ponzi scheme's victims know the fraudulent scheme is operated by an internet idol and has nothing to do with the bank, said chief marketing officer Thana Thienachariya.
A large number of social media users also helped clarify what SCB Mae Manee stands for, creating positive consumer awareness about the character, he said.
"This ponzi scheme shows the positive power of social media. A lot of people helped defend SCB Mae Manee. The bank doesn’t need to rectify anything, but is continuing to maintain its image," said Mr Thana.
Mae Manee is SCB's cartoon character used for QR code payment solution of merchants, and small and medium-sized enterprises. The character was created based on 'Nang Kwak' household divinity, stemming from the belief of many merchants that the superstitious image will beckon customers.
Around 1.5 million merchants nationwide receive payments through QR code technology after the bank launched the service in 2017.
The Mae Manee ponzi scheme hit the headlines after Wantanee Tippaveth and her boyfriend Metee Chinpa allegedly scammed hundreds of people by offering returns of up to 93% a month for investment.
The Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for both on allegations of operating a ponzi scheme with damages that could reach billions of baht.
Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin has also instructed the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to take on the pyramid scheme probe as a special case.
The DSI on Tuesday began allowing victims to file complaints via QR code, which drew about 1,600 complaints that day alone.
Mr Thana said the bank is closely monitoring the situation, particularly on social media channels.