A BUSINESSMAN in Chonburi lost 16 million baht in a call-centre scam after the fraudsters tricked him into installing what was claimed to be an Internal Trade Department app to update data but instead took control of his mobile phone and drained out the money from his bank accounts, Thai Rath newspaper said today (Feb. 25).
Speaking at Mueang Chonburi police station Mr. Watchara Srichuengcharoenchai, 40, said he had urged the banks to find a way to get the money back as most of it was from a joint venture business he is running with his sister.
A total of 15.8 million baht was transferred from his Siam Commercial Bank business account to Mr. Ekkalak Phuangchana’s PromptPay account number 0959750066. Over 150,000 baht was also drained from two other accounts.
The scammer who called him claimed to be an official of the Internal Trade Department and told him to install the app as there was now a policy for entrepreneurs to update their information online.
He was a bit busy but he then got prompted by a Line message to click the attached link.
He did as told and over the next 10 minutes he got nine messages of money being withdrawn from his business account. This was followed by emptying over 150,000 baht from his personal accounts.
“When the money was being withdrawn I saw that my mobile phone was frozen by the app the fraudster told me to install. I quickly tried to reset the phone but it wasn’t fast enough and I have already reported the theft to the police,” he said.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Kampol Leelaprapaporn, Chonburi provincial police chief, said investigation confirmed that the victim did lose 16 million baht to call centre gangsters who tricked him into downloading an app that controlled his mobile phone.
Details about his accounts have been obtained and after more evidence has been collected the case will be forwarded to Cyber Crimes Investigation Division to track down the criminals, he added.
The victim Mr. Watchara Srichuengcharoenchai, right, and Pol. Maj. Gen. Kampol Leelaprapaporn, left. Photo: Thai Rath