BANGKOK– At least 100 Thai women have been cheated out of a total of more than 100 million baht through Facebook accounts run by conmen offering marriage and wanting explicit photographs they then used to blackmail them, police said on Friday.
Two Trang women filed a complaint with the police, reporting that they have been scammed into transferring almost 100,000 baht to a gang of blackmailers. There were many other victims who were too ashamed to come forward, they told police.
The gang members posed as attractive looking foreign males and approached them via their Facebook accounts. The first woman said a man named “Wyne Smith” had promised to marry her, while another woman had unknowingly sent “compromising” photos of herself to “Alex Chris”.
Later on they were repeatedly blackmailed into wiring money into specific accounts in Chon Buri and Songkhla provinces.
They decided to report to the swindle to authorities after being pressured into paying out hundreds of thousands of baht, they told police.
Police said investigators discovered that over 100 victims, mostly single females, divorcees or widowers, had been deceived into transferring over 100 million baht into the gang’s accounts. Apparently, the money was withdrawn in Malaysia.
The police have frozen the accounts involved, before more women fall victim to the gang. Crime suppression police and the Thailand Transnational Crime Coordination Centre have also been brought in to aid with the investigation.