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A call center scam attempt went wrong when scammers pretending to be police officers unknowingly called Chief of Region 8 Investigation Department Col Boonlert Onklang.
The callers, one of whom claimed to be Deputy Commander for the Royal Thai Police Prajuab, told Col Boonlert that he was under investigation for having sent a package containing B100,000 in cash and a suspicious banking book to a woman overseas called Ms Wilai Chantawong.
“I can help you close your bank account temporarily so the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) and the Bank of Thailand (BoT) can investigate your financial record,” one scammer can be heard telling Col Boonlert on speaker phone.
“But you will need to transfer your money to this account. After the investigation is complete, the money will be transferred back to your account,” the scammer says.
Col Boonlert calmly plays along with the scam in the two videos posted lasting over 30 minutes, in which the foreign number (055-368-114) continues to call back several times with different fake officers talking to Col Boonlert.
“I am at the bank now, I have just withdrawn B2mn. What do you want me to do now?” Col Boonlert says at some stages.
The callers continue to give Col Boonlert instructions, including to transfer money into the account of “Thamrong Rakpong” and then providing a bank account number, before Col Boonlert finally questions the fourth gang member after nearly 45 minutes.
“Who are you? I am a Police Chief Investigator. What kind of Police Deputy Commander are you?” he asks.
“No one even scams like this anymore, who will believe you? A Police Commander would speak with knowledge, not say stupid things like this. Stop tricking citizens, I beg you,” Col Boonlert adds.
The caller is heard arguing with the police officer before finally hanging up the phone.
When contacted by The Phuket News, Col Boonlert said that he had passed the scammers’ phone number and other details to the Department of Primary Investigations.
“The name, telephone and account number will be investigated soon. So far I would prefer not disclose any further details” he said.
“However, I would like this case to become an example for the people of Thailand. Be conscious in conversation. Do not let other fool you easily. If you are not sure, consult the nearest police station or relevant authorities immediately before making any decisions,” he concluded.
The video comes just several days after an Indonesian national and two Thais were arrested for allegedly compliciting in a call centre scam network in Bangkok (see story here).