Scale of Thai cybercrime revealed as almost 60,000 bank accounts frozen
Almost 120,000 telephone numbers and 60,000 bank accounts operated by criminals were frozen last year, government spokesperson Rachada Dhnadirek said on Thursday.
The criminal channels were suspended as part of efforts by the Digital Economy and Society Ministry, police force and other agencies to tackle cybercrimes.
"Eight foreign call centre gangs comprising 166 suspects were arrested last year," said Rachada, adding that 118,530 telephone numbers and 58,463 bank accounts used by criminals had been frozen.
Investigators also shut down eight criminal account-trading groups on social media and 1,830 gambling websites last year.
The Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) has launched a crackdown against criminals opening bank accounts, she added.
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission has also asked around 8,000 people who own more than 100 smartphone SIM cards to verify their identities by the end of this month in a bid to tackle call centre scams, Rachada said.
The website www.thaipoliceonline.com received 163,091 complaints of cybercrime accounting for 27.30 billion baht in damages between March 1 and December 31 last year, she added.
Of them, 51% of complaints related to call centre gangs in other countries, followed by online scams in Thailand (40.5%) and other cybercrimes (8.5%).
Other cybercrimes logged by the site included computer hacking, online ransom, and sexual harassment.
"The government is fully focused on tackling cybercrimes," Rachada said, explaining that Thai agencies are cooperating with international bodies and considering law amendments to tackle the issue.
People can file complaints of cybercrime at www.thaipoliceonline.com or via the Electronic Transaction Development Agency's 1212 hotline.