New Thai agency successfully recoups over 50% of funds lost to online scammers

BANGKOK: Since it was set up on Nov 1 last year, the Anti-Online Scam Operation Centre (AOC 1441) has ended up freezing as many as 39,918 bank accounts for fraud.

Digital Economy and Society Minister Prasert Chantararuangthong said on Wednesday (Feb 28) that the accounts were frozen in response to 307,515 complaints received by AOC as of the end of January.

He explained that most of the accounts (17,954 or 44.9%) were related to purchase scams, followed by fake job offers (5,340 or 13.3%), fake investment schemes (3,733 or 9.3%), loan sharks (3,353 or 8.4%) and extortion (2,462 or 6.2%).

In January alone, the agency was able to freeze enough accounts to recoup 1.9 billion baht or 56.7% of the 3.4 billion baht lost to scams, he added.

In comparison, only 1.3 billion or 11% of the 11 billion baht lost to scammers was recouped between March and September last year.

He also pointed out the centre’s effectiveness, saying that in January alone, it was able to freeze as many as 500 accounts daily, with each case taking no more than 10 minutes to be resolved.

Prasert said he was “satisfied” with the results, which stemmed from a collaboration between several entities such as the police, Bank of Thailand, National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission and mobile phone operators.

The Anti-Fake News Centre was also recently warned of scammers impersonating AOC officials and scamming people via fake social media accounts set up in the centre’s name.

The watchdog has said that AOC can only be reached via the 1441 24-hour hotline and has no presence on social media or the net. - The Nation/ANN

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Thailand , agency , scam , online , recoup


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