Half of the Thai participants in a study released by Fico, a leading global provider of analytics software, believe it's okay to exaggerate income on loan applications and insurance claims.
The consumer fraud survey explored preferences and attitudes towards fraud checks, revealing that half of Thai respondents were willing to commit fraud to obtain a loan or while filing an insurance claim.
However, the study also highlighted that financial institutions could generate increased revenue and drive sales using a successful fraud protection function.
When asked about their attitudes on providing false information for financial or material gain -- known in banking as first-party fraud -- half of Thai respondents supported such behaviour.
Around 25% of respondents said there were circumstances in which it's okay for people to exaggerate their income when making a loan or mortgage application, while 25% thought it was normal to do so.
The survey revealed a similar proportion of consumers would exaggerate an insurance claim or add items to a claim.
"The willingness to commit fraud for financial gain is concerning. It signals a strong need for Thai banks to bolster their fraud prevention models," said C.K. Leo, Fico's lead for fraud, security and financial crime in Asia-Pacific.
"A robust fraud prevention strategy would not only safeguard customers' interests, but also strengthen the bottom line of businesses."
This sentiment is consistent with survey results in Indonesia and the Philippines. In Malaysia, more than 60% of respondents said such behaviour was normal, according to Fico.
The results indicate that banks in Thailand may be making inaccurate risk assessments as a result of the false information provided on applications, potentially leading to financial losses from inflated insurance claims.
Customers may be unaware that providing false information on applications or claims is illegal, he said.
"A sluggish economy and rising cost of living has driven some Thais to desperate measures to access credit. Still, this is no justification for fraud," said Mr Leo.
"By improving their ability to detect misrepresentation of information, financial institutions can safeguard themselves against losses from bad debt, while steering customers away from regrettable paths."
Fully leveraging data and analytics to drive fraud protection allows financial institutions to have the evidence required to distinguish between fraudulent and legitimate applications.
However, fraud teams are frequently unable to use this data because it is siloed, he said.
These inefficiencies result in inadequate fraud protection and compromise the customer experience.
Banks prompt consumers with arduous and time-consuming identity checks, resulting in increased costs and duplication that causes frustration for the customer, said Mr Leo.
"Given the region's competitive banking landscape, utilising the wrong fraud strategy can be costly," he said.
"To achieve success, fraud teams must strike a balance between strong fraud protection and meeting the legitimate needs of customers. This can be achieved through a holistic approach to applicant data, which enables effective differentiation between fraudulent and legitimate applications.
"The use of analytics and machine learning models will further bolster a bank's fraud defences, leading to better customer satisfaction."
Conducted in late 2022, the report surveyed 1,000 people in each of 14 countries: Thailand, the US, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, South Africa, Germany, the UK and Sweden.