Scams to look out for this festive season

Scams to look out for this festive season

Happy New Year and Merry Christmas messages are displayed on an LED board at Ratchaprasong intersection. This shopping area is now filled with lighting decorations to get shoppers in the mood for the festive season. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Happy New Year and Merry Christmas messages are displayed on an LED board at Ratchaprasong intersection. This shopping area is now filled with lighting decorations to get shoppers in the mood for the festive season. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

As the world gets ready to ring in the New Year, the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) has issued a warning, asking people to look out for scammers who will stop at nothing to fool potential victims.

On the CSD Facebook page, commander Jirabhop Bhuridej listed the 10 most common scams people should be wary of, regardless of whether they celebrate the holiday at home or elsewhere.

Pol Col Neti Wongkulap, a CSD superintendent, said the warning has been issued because the division found the New Year holiday season is one of the busiest times for criminals. He said the list of the 10 most common scams was based on criminal records over the past year.

"We are warning people as we want them to take precautions, because when they are duped, there is only a slim chance they will get any of their valuables back," he warned.

Pol Col Neti also said the CSD is also working with local police to conduct regular patrols in a move to deter criminal activities.

The 10 scams the CSD has issued a warning about are:

Gift delivery: A stranger may knock on the door with a large gift basket or boxes and will try to get into the house and make off with valuables. Things may get violent if the thief is confronted.

Handyman: Strangers posing as plumbers, telephone repair technicians or staff from the electricity authority may offer creative reasons for getting into a house and subsequently stealing.

Jewellery cleaning: Scammers may show up offering jewellery cleaning services, and swap real items for fake ones when the owner isn't looking.

Event planning: This scam can be pulled in two ways -- conning operators and not paying them, or taking payment as event planners and not delivering.

Charity: Scammers show up asking for cash donations.

Counterfeit banknote: As holiday shopping goes into full swing, busy vendors can be easily fooled by people using counterfeit banknotes.

Pickpockets: Look after your belongings when travelling or when in crowded places.

Card games: Scammers may ask travellers to join a game of cards on a bus or train, though the game is usually rigged and the victim ends up losing.

Cheap goods: When high-quality goods are offered at incredibly low prices, more often than not they are a complete waste of money.

Drugging and stealing: Thieves will befriend potential victims, offer them drinks or food laced with drugs, strip the victims of valuables and disappear before they wake up.


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