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Police hunt for online surfskate sharks after scams steal millions


Police warned on Monday that the new craze known as surfskating is attracting online sharks who are taking a big bite out of innocent consumers. Social media users have advised netizens to be cautious when ordering surfskate boards online after fake sellers stole more than B2.7 million from over 100 victims.

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Police spokesman Krisana Pattanacharoen said on Monday that legal action would be taken quickly against anyone caught operating an online surfskate scam.

Surfskating, also known as carveboarding, has become a trendy sport during the Covid-19 era as people can do it anywhere.

Krisana said surfskate equipment was in short supply, meaning customers were pre-ordering boards with online traders.

"Criminals have taken this opportunity to launch sales scams by offering discounts for people who pay the full price," he said.

The scammers take the money transfer but fail to deliver the boards.

Those found guilty of online surfskate scams face up to three years in prison and/or a fine of up to Bt60,000, Krisana warned.

"They face up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to Bt100,000 fine if they scam multiple victims," he added.

National Police chief Suwat Chaengyodsuk has ordered the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau to catch the criminals while also boosting netizens’ awareness of how to avoid becoming victims.

"To avoid falling victim to sales scams, people should check online traders' information carefully, read customers' product reviews and use cash-on-delivery services while purchasing goods via online channels,” Krisana said.

Published : March 29, 2021

By : The Nation