Government gets tough on cyber crimes

Government gets tough on cyber crimes

Harsher sanctions to deter online fraud

Chaiwut: Worried about technology
Chaiwut: Worried about technology

Tough measures to suppress and prevent cyber crimes, including swift action against proxy accounts transferring fraud money, will soon be submitted for cabinet approval, according to the Digital Economy and Society (DES) Ministry.

A raft of measures will be forwarded to the cabinet in 10 days to systematically deal with cyber crimes that have caused about 20 billion baht in damages, said DES Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn yesterday.

The measures seek to stamp out call centre scams, proxy accounts, fraudulent investment schemes, online gambling, and scams to sell products online, he said.

Since March, more than 100,000 cases related to online fraud have been reported to the authorities, he said.

Strong measures are being created to prevent the transfer of money obtained from online fraud through proxy bank accounts, he said, noting proxies have made tracing fraud networks difficult.

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) is being recruited to help draft regulations against cyber crime, he said. The ministry has proposed that any overseas financial transaction with an unusually large amount be put on hold for checks, a plan that could disrupt the movement of fraud money, he said.

Banks should come up with safeguards against the hacking and remote manipulation of customer bank accounts, Mr Chaiwut said.

He expressed concern that rapidly advancing technology that criminals use may be a step ahead of crime-prevention efforts. All banks should invest in improving their security systems, he said.

The minister insisted the problem is not about the law but the technology being exploited to commit fraud. It is the duty of the BoT and the Thai Bankers Association to ensure that banks check their databases and install cyber security programmes, he said.

If more people have their money remotely stolen from their bank accounts, public trust in mobile banking operations will be lost, which will hamper the development of the kingdom's digital economy, he said.

Authorities tackling cyber crime will step up enforcement efforts while the media has a crucial role to raise cyber crime awareness, he added.

In other news, a high-level meeting on call centre scams was yesterday chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, detailing the freezing of 40,198 proxy bank accounts used to facilitate the transfer of illicit funds.

In all, 76,165 phone numbers have been blocked over fraud suspicions.

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