POLICE today (June 30) warned the public to beware of coronavirus vaccine swindle proliferating online after a complaint was filed by a man that he and his 20 friends were tricked into buying Sinopharm jabs at 1,800 baht each but in the end did not get the shots, Siam Rath newspaper said this afternoon (June 30).
Pol. Col. Krisana Pattanacharoen, deputy spokesman of the Royal Thai Police, said the fraud victim had told Udon Thani police that his group fell into a trap sprung by the trickster who told them that this lot of vaccine was left over from inoculating Federation of Thai Industries personnel.
To win their trust the swindler had introduced them to a Line group in which there allegedly were some doctors. However on June 28 when they went in for the jab they found out their names were not on the list and that the doctors in the Line group were not real ones.
Pol. Col. Krisana said this case shows that during the current Covid pandemic there are tech-savvy criminals swindling people who want to get vaccinated quickly.
Those filing false information into the computer network that could cause damage to other people face five years imprisonment and/or 100,000 baht fine. Those convicted of fraud face a maximum three years in jail and/or 60,000 baht fine.
There are other laws covering personal offense but to prosecute the victim has to first file a complaint with the investigating officers.
Police warned people to check the source of the vaccine with the agency directly to ascertain whether it actually exists. It is better to register with the government agencies for a jab and those who run into scams can report them at police hotlines 191 or 1599 all 24 hours a day.
Top: A man is getting an injection at a hospital. Photo: Marco Verch, professional photographer from Cologne (CC BY 2.0)
Home Page: A nurse holds a vial of Sinopharm vaccine. Photo: EPA/ EFE and published by The Straits Times