Ministry unveils platform targeting online scammers

Ministry unveils platform targeting online scammers

The Digital Economy and Society (DES) Ministry is set to launch the Central Fraud Registry as an automated solution to fight scams and address illegal transactions, fraud and mule accounts.

The platform was developed from the existing National Interbank Transaction Management and Exchange, jointly created by the Thai Bankers' Association (TBA) and the Bank of Thailand.

According to DES permanent secretary Wisit Wisitsora-at, the platform was developed to complement a recent royal decree on cybercrime prevention and suppression, which gives victims, banks and the authorities more options in fighting online scams and other illegal internet activities.

TBA chairman Payong Srivanich said earlier the registry would be a new inspection entity in addition to the existing Thailand Banking Sector Computer Emergency Response Team, a group of financial institutions under the TBA.

Mr Wisit said the registry platform lets banks and related parties prevent suspected accounts from completing transactions based on an artificial intelligence (AI) system.

There are 600 complaints about fraud and scams per day across all complaint centres and websites, down from an average of 800 before the royal decree.

He said the ministry expects to see complaints declining to only 100 per day by end of this year.

The royal decree allows victims of online scams to immediately file for the suspension of mule accounts that have been opened using their stolen identity via 15 banks' hotline numbers, and to file scam complaints with police stations, both physically and online.

The law also gives banks the authority to temporarily suspend a suspected mule account and use AI technology to investigate illicit transactions without waiting for fraud to occur. This makes the law one of the most effective tools for ensuring security, said Mr Wisit.


He said the DES Ministry will also pursue digital transformation to help bridge the digital divide nationwide, working for more affordable services.

The ministry has a policy to support innovation adoption for all government ministries, said Mr Wisit.

He said safe and secure digital services can increase consumer confidence, especially for payment ecosystems.

However, one obstacle for mobile users, online buyers and merchants is many forms of scams, especially via mobile traffic, said Mr Wisit.

He said the ministry is also focused on obstructing mule accounts via mobile banking, where scammers use nominees to open bank accounts on their behalf to conduct illegal transactions.

The Office of the Public Sector Development Commission directed the DES Ministry to help all ministries transform into digital-driven operations.

The government wants all of the roughly 8,000 state agencies to adopt an e-document process in their routine operations by 2024.

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