Scammers Increase Ransom Tactics with Fake Abduction Videos

scammers ransom tactics

University Students Tricked into Filming Fabricated Kidnappings

In a new and troubling twist on ransom scams, gangsters have begun forcing university students to film fake abduction videos. The criminals intended to send these fabricated videos to the victims’ parents in an attempt to extort ransom money. This tactic came to light after a university student in Lat Krabang district fell victim to the same trick and was subsequently rescued.

Scammers Operate From Abroad

Authorities suspect that call center gangs based in Myanmar and Cambodia are behind these ruses. Pol Maj Gen Panthana Nuchanart, Deputy Commissioner of the Immigration Bureau (IB) and Chief of the Police Cyber Taskforce (PCT) Team 1, confirmed that the police have rescued another victim who was tricked into wiring money to call center scammers.

The Abduction Scam Process

Scammers initiate their ploy by contacting potential victims, often university students, and posing as staff from various organizations such as the Thailand Post Office or local police stations. They convince the victims that their bank passbooks, or other personal items, have been found in packages linked to money laundering or illegal activities.

After gaining the victim’s trust, the scammers guide them through a series of steps designed to isolate them and cut off communication with friends and family. These steps can include moving to a hotel room and deleting all social media accounts. The victim is then instructed to create a new Line account to communicate exclusively with the scammers, who disguise themselves as officials from the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo).

Ransom Demands and Fake Kidnappings

Once isolated, the scammers instruct the victim to tie their hands and ankles with duct tape and film themselves as if they have been abducted. They then send these videos and photos to the victim’s family, tricking them into believing their loved one has been kidnapped and demanding a ransom for their release.

In some cases, the scammers also demand that the victims wire money from their bank accounts, claiming the funds are required to investigate their transaction history. Disturbingly, the criminals have threatened to mutilate the victims if the ransoms are not paid.

Authorities Remain Vigilant

The police are actively investigating these cases and working to apprehend the criminals responsible. In a recent rescue operation, authorities found that the scammers were based in Thachikek town in Myanmar. The public is urged to be cautious and report any suspicious activities to the police.