The Scam Overview
Police are currently investigating a scam in which a group of con artists posed as employees of the popular social media platform, TikTok, to deceive a victim into investing more than 3.5 million baht in a fake stock trading scheme. The victim, known only as Joke, is an active user of the platform and was targeted due to his large following.
Initial Contact and False Promises
The scammers contacted Joke on his mobile phone in early May, informing him that his TikTok account, boasting over 1,000 followers, made him eligible to participate in revenue-generating activities. Although Joke initially declined the offer, he later changed his mind.
As part of the scheme, the scammers provided Joke with a list of video clips to like and follow on the platform, offering him 15 baht per clip. Over time, the payment increased, encouraging Joke’s engagement.
Bogus Stock Trading Scheme
After gaining Joke’s trust, the scam gang invited him to invest in their fraudulent stock trading scheme. Although the minimum investment was set at 5,990 baht, Joke invested over a million baht on each occasion. In total, he lost 3.7 million baht over three days. The scammers promised returns on his investment that were never delivered, and he also lost the principal.
Authorities’ Response and Warning
The Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) has taken up the case and is currently looking into the criminal group. Commissioner Pol Lt Gen Worawat Watnakhonbancha urges the public to be cautious when considering online investment offers. The CCIB deals with approximately 700 cyber crime complaints every day.
Pol Maj Gen Chusak Kanadnid, the commander of the High-Tech Crime Division, noted the difficulty in recovering funds wired to criminal gangs. Scammers often withdraw funds from bank accounts quickly and launder the money to cover their tracks.
Staying Safe in the Digital Age
As online scams continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, it’s crucial for individuals to stay vigilant and exercise caution when engaging in online activities. Protecting personal information and thinking twice before making any investments can be the difference between safeguarding one’s assets and falling victim to fraud.