Family protests after losing B1m in internet banking scam

Family protests after losing B1m in internet banking scam

A family from Ayutthaya stages a protest in the middle of Rama 1 Road on Friday calling for police to investigate a banking scam in which the family claims to have lost close to a million baht to an online thief. (Photo by Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)
A family from Ayutthaya stages a protest in the middle of Rama 1 Road on Friday calling for police to investigate a banking scam in which the family claims to have lost close to a million baht to an online thief. (Photo by Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)

A family from Ayutthaya province is seeking help directly from the Royal Thai Police headquarters after local officers refused to process a complaint filed in July over the loss of nearly a million baht to a internet banking scam.

The family led by Phansuthee Meeluekij, 28, the owner of an auto accessories shop in Ayutthaya, on Friday went to the middle of Rama 1 Road in front of the headquarters and sat there holding up a placard.

Mr Phansuthee said 986,700 baht in his savings bank account with Kasikornbank (KBank) had been stolen through an internet banking application, leaving only 58 baht in the account.

Mr Phansuthee said the thief had contacted TrueMove, the mobile phone operator he used for connecting to the mobile banking service, and successfully fooled a service shop into issuing a new SIM card.

He said he wondered why the True shop issued the new SIM card without asking to see an authentic ID card as it appears the thief used a fake ID card.

He said after getting the new card, the thief contacted KBank's call centre for a new pass code for the mobile banking system which was later used to transfer the money from Mr Phansuthee's account.

The bank agreed to compensate only 33% of the amount he had lost in the scam and told him to pursue the rest of the money from True Corporation and the thief, he said.

Kbank issued a statement on Friday, saying that an investigation found that the fraud gang was able to access personal accounts and passed through the identification verifying system of the bank by using personal information of the client.

"We strongly recommend to clients to keep your personal information strictly confidential, especially information that can be used to verify identities," the statement said.

The bank insisted its banking cyber security system had been working efficiently with updated IT technology. However, for immediate relief measures, the bank will help by compensating 50% of the clients' lost funds, while fully cooperating with authorities to track down robbers.

In the longer term, the bank will strengthen the security system of its internet banking service, K-cyber banking, by ensuring customers who want to reset passwords are able to do so only in person at bank branches.

Additionally, an original ID card will be required if a client requests any changes in their personal information.

KBank said it will cooperate with the mobile operator to seek stricter security measures regarding new SIM card requests.

It said this case occurred because the fraud gang obtained a copy of the client's ID as well as the client's mobile phone number to request a new SIM card. Once robbers gain access to a client's mobile, they can get a one-time password (OTP).

A member of National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Committee, Prawit Leesathapornwongsa, said the case showed the error of a True staff member for being remiss in issuing the new SIM card without asking for an original ID card.

TrueMove could not be reached for comment over the matter.

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