Thailand’s CIB Issued Warning of an Increase in Online Scams

Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) commissioner Jirabhop Bhuridej has issued a warning about a continuing surge in online scams throughout this year, driven by increased internet usage.

The CIB’s analysis, based on Royal Thai Police (RTP) reports, shows over 400,000 cybercrime cases from March 1 to November 30 last year.

The majority of these scams involved counterfeit or substandard goods and services, accounting for 40.8% of the total cases.

However, the most financially damaging were fraudulent investment schemes, with over 16 billion baht (US$ 461,494,080) reported as lost.

Data from November 2022 to November 2023 shows that online scams remain prevalent, with about 21,000 cases reported monthly.

CIB Commissioner Bhuridej emphasizes the ongoing risk of online scams and the urgent need for preventative measures.

Cybercrime is challenging to address due to criminals’ use of advanced tools like SIM boxes and Voice over IP (VoIP) to hide their identities, complicating law enforcement efforts.

Investigators also face challenges such as the geographical spread of scams, complex international criminal networks, and jurisdictional issues inherent in online crime.

To combat this, the Anti-Online Scam Operation Centre (AOC) has set up the 1441 hotline, in collaboration with banks, internet service providers, police, and telecom regulators.

This initiative is focused on enhancing collaboration, better managing databases, and boosting the sharing of information.

Additionally, the police are utilizing technological advancements for more efficient complaint processing, intelligence collection, and analyzing patterns in criminal activities.

The CIB commissioner stresses the importance of police training to tackle emerging threats like cryptocurrency, the dark web, and deep fakes, and is leading a panel to develop anti-cybercrime strategies.

Despite the focus on online scams, the CIB also prepares for violent crimes like mass shootings by training schools and companies and partnering with the Police General Hospital to support staff mental health.

The CIB is enhancing its data collection to become more data-driven, collaborating with the Thailand Institute of Justice to develop a comprehensive crime database based on the UNODC’s International Classification of Crime for Statistical Purposes.

The commissioner advises the public to stay informed and vigilant, as technology enables criminals to target individuals globally.