falling for fake police call
to be senior Thai police officers. The scam begins with victims being contacted by someone claiming to work for the customs department who says they have intercepted a package from overseas containing drugs, ATM cards and bank books that are linked to “national-level moneylaundering
t this point, they are transferred via a video call to a man wearing a police uniform who claimed he is based at Ranong Police Station in southern Thailand. According to a Bangkok businessman who was cheated out of hundreds of thousands of baht, the “police officer” proved extremely convincing, seated in what looked like a genuine police station, chatting to his colleagues in the background and saying that the police needed his help to catch the money-launderers. The man was assured he was not suspected of any wrongdoing and even shown photos of six men wanted for questioning.
However, since the businessman’s name and personal details had been discovered in a bank account, not his, holding an unexplained sum of more than 13 million baht, he needed to prove his innocence by making a personal visit to the station in Ranong, an extremely
inconvenient journey of several hundreds of kilometres. If he refused, an arrest warrant would be issued.
Alternatively, the businessman was told, he could send the ‘police officer’ access to his bank account so it could be cleared of any money laundering. Having been lulled into a false sense of security by the quietly spoken and clearly educated scammer who added to his credibility by displaying a copy of the man’s ID card, he did as instructed – thus enabling the scam, with all his money being subsequently stolen from his account. How did an otherwise sensible businessman fall for this scam?