The Cybercrime Investigation Bureau reports that cybercrime in Thailand has cost more than US$193 million in the last 70 days.
During the period, the number of call centre scams decreased, but the number of persons recruited to perform activities to make extra money and loan scams related to the ailing economy climbed.
Meanwhile, mobile phone manufacturer Samsung has introduced an Ad Blocker feature to prevent Samsung Galaxy device users from downloading fraudulent programs or links.
“We saw in the past 70 days that online cases continue to increase and criminals use a mix of techniques to lure potential victims,” said Pol Col Jessada Burinsuchat, superintendent of the Royal Thai Police’s Cyber Security Investigation Unit, part of the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau.
He also stated that the overall worth of damages over the last 70 days had reached US$ 193,308,554.40 from 53,179 cases. Fraud involving the sale of products and services continued to account for the majority (50%) of all instances, totalling $9,465,262.76.
Scams persuading consumers to make money transfers to earn extra money were the second most popular at 10.6%. Tricks to entice investors accounted for 5.3%, but they caused the most damage, totalling US$88,647,476.00.
“Criminals use technology such as deep fake to lure potential victims and avoid detection.”
There is no silver bullet to prevent this crime, but coordination is needed from all connected stakeholders, such as the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, telecom companies, and the Bank of Thailand. Pol Col. Jessada explained.
Pol Col Jessada stated that since the government began enforcing the Cyber Crime Prevention and Suppression Act in March 2023, it has helped freeze dubious bank accounts and successfully refunded monies to victims in 24% of cases, up from 2.4%.
Cyber-attacks are causing significant damage nowadays, and the number of occurrences is increasing. According to figures from 2023, there were up to $571,755,400.00 in losses related to 185,814 cyber-attacks, with a daily average of 700-800 instances.
According to Pol Maj Gen Siriwat Deephor, deputy spokesperson for the Royal Thai Police, from March 17, 2023, to the end of 2023, contact centre scams ranked fifth in terms of instances, with losses estimated at $68,610,648.00 in 10,395 incidents.
During that time, the sixth most common method was to lure users into installing malicious programs, resulting in a total loss of $40,022,878.00 from 8,283 cases.
From phishing attacks to data breaches, cybercrime in Thailand is a real issue that impacts individuals and corporations alike. With a population of 70 million and high internet usage exceeding 9 hours per day for each user, Thailand faces significant cybersecurity challenges.
The State of Cybercrime in Thailand
Thailand has experienced a rise in cybercrime in recent years, with various cyber attacks targeting businesses and individuals. According to statista.com, the country has seen increased phishing scams, data breaches, and identity theft cases. These cyber threats have caused financial losses and eroded trust in online transactions and data security.
Furthermore, the Cybersecurity Laws and Regulations Report 2024 Thailand highlights the legal framework to address cybercrime in Thailand. Offences related to cybercrime are covered under the Telecommunications Business Act B.E. 2544 (2001) and its subsequent amendments, providing a legal basis for prosecuting cybercriminal activities.
Initiatives to Combat Cybercrime
The Thai government and law enforcement agencies have proactively implemented cybersecurity measures to address the growing concerns around cyber threats. The Thailand-Octopus Cybercrime Community is actively tackling cybercrime by enforcing existing laws and regulations while collaborating with international partners to combat transnational cyber threats.
Moreover, a concerted effort has raised awareness about cybersecurity best practices among businesses and the general public. Educational campaigns and workshops have been organized to educate individuals on identifying and mitigating cyber risks, ultimately fostering a more cyber-resilient society.
As cyber threats continue to evolve, Thailand is focused on enhancing its cybersecurity infrastructure and capabilities. By investing in advanced technologies and fostering collaboration between the public and private sectors, the country aims to create a robust defence against cybercrime.
To sum up, cybercrime in Thailand presents a multifaceted challenge requiring a comprehensive and collaborative approach. With the implementation of stringent laws, proactive enforcement, and enhanced cybersecurity awareness, Thailand is poised to mitigate the impact of cyber threats and safeguard its digital ecosystem.