Cops enlist networks in scam battle
National police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk yesterday backed a new policy to pursue call centre scammers by urging mobile phone users to alert network operators to the criminals' numbers so they can block them.
Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas, director of the Police Cyber Taskforce (PCT) relayed the national police chief's policy of working with mobile phone networks to short-circuit the growing problem of call centre fraud.
Mobile phone users are advised to report any suspicious calls and networks have agreed to investigate and block numbers used for criminal activity.
People can report these incidents to AIS on 1185, True on 9777 and Dtac on 1678.
As well as placing a block on the numbers, the networks will also pass the information on to the PCT.
Pol Gen Damrongsak said there have been 15,557 complaints lodged with the PCT related to call centre crimes since March 1. Of them 5,311 were online shopping scams, and 1,884 fraud schemes related to online product reviews.
The rest includes romance and investment scams, phishing and bogus products.
AIS also said it has received more than 1,000 complaints about fraudulent call centres via its hotline and SMS channel since April 8. Details are currently being passed on to the PCT for further investigation.
Pratthana Leelapanang, Chief Consumer Business Officer of AIS, said the operator wanted to be able to provide its customers a guarantee of safety from fraudsters and so had made its 1185 number free of charge.
Pol Lt Gen Kornchai Klayklueng, commissioner of the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB), said cooperation from mobile operators has been vital and helped police deal with the fraudsters more effectively, and that swift arrests were likely following the handing over of the call logs.
Police have been interviewing witnesses and also summoned a number of Thai-based suspects for questioning, and a volley of charges were ready to be pressed.
The police have been able to conduct even more accurate and efficient investigation using the scammer-related data supplied by mobile operators.