A Deceptive Encounter
A 66-year-old government retiree recently lost a staggering 20 million baht (approximately 600,000 USD) to an online scammer pretending to be a news anchor. The scammer lured the victim into investing in cryptocurrencies within just two months. The retiree, along with the real TV news anchor, filed a complaint with the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) on August 29, 2023.
Impersonating a News Anchor
The scammer created a fake Facebook profile, claiming to be Orakan Jivakiet, a well-known TV news anchor. After initially making contact with the victim, the scammer requested they continue their conversation on the LINE app, a popular messaging platform in Asia.
Over time, the scammer developed a close relationship with the victim, eventually persuading them to invest a large sum of money in cryptocurrencies. The victim made a total of 33 transactions, transferring nearly 20 million baht from around 10 different bank accounts.
Realizing the Scam
Unfortunately, the victim only realized they had been scammed when they were unable to withdraw a supposed 10,000 baht return on their investment. By this point, the victim had already lost the entire amount invested, and the scammer had vanished.
News Anchor’s Reaction
Orakan Jivakiet, the real news anchor, expressed shock and dismay that her profile had been forged for such malicious purposes. She clarified that she does not use Facebook, helping to confirm the fraudulent nature of the scammer’s profile.
Staying Safe Online
As online scams become increasingly sophisticated, it’s essential to practice vigilance when interacting with strangers on social media platforms. Following some basic safety guidelines can help protect you from scams:
- Be cautious when connecting with unknown individuals online
- Double-check the legitimacy of profiles and claims made by online contacts
- Avoid sharing sensitive personal or financial information with strangers
- Research before making any investments, especially in digital assets like cryptocurrencies
It’s crucial to report any suspicious online activities to the appropriate authorities, as these reports can help protect others from falling victim to similar scams.