Losses tally B6.76bn in past 70 days

Losses tally B6.76bn in past 70 days

The Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau says calls encouraging people to carry out activities for additional income have increased during the economic crisis.
The Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau says calls encouraging people to carry out activities for additional income have increased during the economic crisis.

Cybercrime caused damage tallying 6.76 billion baht over the past 70 days, according to the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau.

The number of call centre scams declined during the period but incidents of people being targeted to carry out activities to earn extra income as well as loan scams linked to the ailing economy increased.

Meanwhile, mobile phone maker Samsung launched an Ad Blocker feature to prevent Samsung Galaxy handset users from downloading malicious programs or links.

"We saw in the past 70 days that online cases continue to increase and criminals use a mix of techniques to lure potential victims," said Pol Col Jessada Burinsuchat, superintendent of the Cyber Security Investigation Unit under the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau of the Royal Thai Police.

He added that the total value of losses during the past 70 days reached 6.76 billion baht from 53,179 cases.

Fraud stemming from selling products and services continued to represent the highest share (50%) of all cases, valued at 331 million baht.

Scams luring people to make money transfers in relation to seeking extra income were the second most common at 10.6%.

Tricks to lure investors accounted for 5.3%, but represented the greatest cost in terms of damage at 3.1 billion baht.

"Criminals use technology such as deep fake to lure potential victims and avoid detection."

There is no silver bullet to prevent this type of crime but rather it requires collaboration from all related parties, ranging from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission to telecom operators and the Bank of Thailand, Pol Col Jessada said.

Pol Col Jessada said since the government began enforcing the law on Cyber Crime Prevention and Suppression in March 2023, it had helped freeze questionable bank accounts and sucessfully returned funds to victims in 24% of cases, up from 2.4% previously.

Cyber-attacks are causing enormous damage today and cases keep rising. Figures from 2023 show there were up to 20 billion baht's worth of losses associated with 185,814 cases of cyber-attacks and a daily average of 700-800 cases.

Pol Maj Gen Siriwat Deephor, deputy spokesperson of the Royal Thai Police, said between March 17, 2023 to the end of 2023, call centre scams were ranked fifth in terms of cases with losses estimated at 2.4 billion baht in 10,395 cases. The luring of users to install malicous apps was sixth during that period with damage of 1.4 billion baht from 8,283 cases.

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