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Online money-lending scams are increasing

Man in business suit accepting wad of cash through a computer screen

Desperate situations call for desperate actions. This is a saying more and more people base their lives on these days. This saying is also been taking into consideration by online scam artists. They promise the sun and the moon to the financially troubled who can’t get bank loans due to bad credit history.

 Online swindlers, as people might call them, take the role of a bank official in chat rooms or email and promise the best bank deals a man has ever seen.  The problem is people actually believe it. It has come to an extent that the police and the National Credit Bureau (NCB) constantly warn people they are potential victims of online money scams.

The alarm was triggered when a 35-year-old man was caught by the police, accused of committing such illegalities on a number of victims in the Huai Khwang district.

Pol Col Akarawut Limrat, chief of Sub-Division 1 at the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) declares that the thief, Chainarong Naksrisuk, tricked people by giving the impression of his possibility to attain credit cards with one million baht credit lines for those who don’t have the right to get bank loans anymore.

The chief of Sub-Division 1 also says that: “Swindlers usually go on websites that provide information about loan offers and post messages for people who want to apply for credit cards,”

If a person contacts the swindler, they make a convincing statement that they are bank officials. Then, the criminal states he can give the loan to the person, despite the bad credit history. Modifications or deleting the data from the credit bureau are often lies told by the criminals.

Presented with such a great offer, once they have accepted the offer, the concept of “documentation fee” comes to play. After that, 30% of the desired transfer is asked from the client by the thieves, in order for the transactions to succeed.

Using bank technical language and formal addressing makes it very hard to not be fooled by the crooks. The victim is then put to open a new bank account through e-banking. They are told the desired loan credit will be opened in that bank account.

“After the victims transfer the money, the offenders can usually never be reached again,” said Pol Col Akarawut. “Although it is a simple trick, it works, and is a huge blow to people who are already desperate for money.”

The CSD has 30 of these cases on its hands, despite the fact that it is a relatively new scam.

This is uncertain though since the police have to do time-consuming tasks such as collecting information from various sources.

It is believed that many groups of such criminals are up and operating. The police is making efforts in noting everything they can about them.

Most of the people who fell into this scam only realize it until it’s too late. Yodrak Chaipan, a 39-year old man declares that he received a message online who promised 1 million baht from someone who claimed to be a person working in the banking industry.

With the belief he had been blacklisted by the NCB, he asked for a 200.00 baht credit loan.

After a phone conversation with the criminal, Mr Yodrak was sure he talked to a bank official.
“He was so smooth,” the man said regarding the criminal. “He asked me to transfer 6,500 baht as a documentation fee and then 60,000 baht.”

With the money transferred, he was promised that the desired loan will be put into his bank account within two hours. He was left to hold only a promise though.

Mr Yodrak declared: “I called him, but he could not be reached.”

The swindlers don’t always get away. In what Mr Chainarong is concerned about, the investigation took only 4 days. The inspector of Sub-Division 1, Pol Maj Phanumas Sangons, declared they managed to track the suspect from his online messages. He made the mistake of linking his Facebook page and was caught shortly after getting the information.

Pol Maj Phanumas gives the advice of not dealing with middlemen when coming down to bank business. The best possible way is by going directly to the bank.

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