Royal Decree To Prevent Call Center Scams

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Royal Decree To Prevent Call Center Scams

A call center scam is a type of fraud that occurs when a caller, posing as a representative from a legitimate business or government agency, attempts to trick the person on the receiving end into giving away personal information and/or money. The scammer may claim to be providing a service such as a customer service, technical support, or debt collection. They may also offer products or services at a discounted rate in order to convince the person to provide payment information. The scammer may also request additional personal details such as social security numbers or bank account information by claiming that this is necessary for the transaction to be completed. In some cases, the scammer may even ask for money to be wired directly to a “Horse Account”. Once the person has provided the requested data or money, the scammer typically disappears without providing any of the promised services or products. The Horse Account is usually opened for the purpose of receiving money from the victim. The money will stay in the Horse Account only for a few seconds or so, then it will be transferred to another account of scammer.

Online threats that come in the form of call centers, deceiving them to click on various links to steal money from bank accounts are considered a cybercrime. Seriously, many people were affected and caused damage to the country’s economy. According to the statistics of scams online in the period of March 2022 – October 2020, deceiving the public online by transferring money costs around 22,000 billion baht which averages 800 cases a day. 

Recently, the cabinet has approved in principle of draft Royal Decree on Measures for Prevention and Suppression of Technology Crime (“Draft Royal Decree”) which was proposed by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society.

This draft Royal Decree serves the purpose to prevent and suppress the public from defrauding by transferring funds and also to penalize the offenders by having a “Crime Prevention and Suppression Technology Committee” mechanism in order to determine the prevention guideline, stipulating the authorized institution to access the exchange information, authorize the power to the financial institutions and entrepreneurs to exchange the information on  accounts and transactions of clients including authorizing the power to telecommunication services to exchange the services information among  the Royal Thai Police, Anti-Money Laundering Office and the authorized institutions. Moreover, this draft Royal Decree stipulates an exemption from Personal Data Protection Act B.E. 2562 (2019) regarding transferring data and accessing data in order that government institutions, financial institutions or entrepreneurs can order the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission to establish a database system regarding registration information, messages and logfile from Mobile Network Operator for investigation. It is worthwhile to note that not only Thailand suffers from telephone scams but also other countries like the US. In 2019, President Trump signed the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act to become enforced. Telephone companies will now be required to use a system called SHAKEN/STIR, which helps protect people from scam calls. If a call is potentially suspicious, it will be marked as “scam likely” or “spam likely”, enabling consumers to quickly recognize and ignore robocalls.

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