Khon Kaen Buddhism director scammed of 1.19 million baht
Khon Kaen Buddhism director scammed of 1.19 million bahtLegacy

The director of the Office of Buddhism in Khon Kaen has fallen victim to a scam, resulting in a loss of over 1.19 million baht (US$32,973), leaving a mere 87 satang (US$0.024) in their bank account. The director, who had unknowingly sent their phone number—which was not linked to any bank—to what appeared to be a legitimate airline’s line account, was nearly driven to despair by the incident.

On February 2, with plans to travel to Bangkok on February 5-6, the director searched for flight tickets on Google and came across a link to a well-known airline. After inquiring about the ticket prices but not purchasing them to find a cheaper alternative, the director was contacted by the airline via Line asking if they were interested in signing up for a membership. Believing that supporting a Thai airline was beneficial and without any apparent risk, the director provided their English name and an office phone number, not linked to any banking application, to prevent potential fraud.

In the afternoon of the same day, a video call from the airline’s Line account led the director to confirm their membership by scanning their face, which they assumed was a standard security procedure of the airline. Unfortunately, this was the precursor to the fraudulent act.

That evening, upon checking their bank account through the mobile banking app, the director was shocked to find only 87 satang left. They promptly reported the incident to the police at 5pm and contacted the bank the following morning. The police managed to freeze two accounts where the money had been transferred, but only 300 baht (US$8) remained in the seized accounts, reported Sanook.

Recover funds

The director then sought help from the central cyber police and later filed a consumer complaint against the bank through e-filing. The director insisted that they had not been negligent as they had not accessed the banking app while dealing with the airline link, only provided a non-bank-linked mobile number, and had set a transaction limit of 500,000 baht (US$13,850). However, the scam involved a transfer exceeding 1 million baht. For transfers over 50,000 baht, face scanning is normally required, which suggests that the bank’s security measures were inadequate.

Despite these security procedures, recovering funds from the fraudsters proved impossible as their identities could not be traced. On the same day as the director’s loss, two other individuals reported similar scam incidents at the bank, one of whom lost 4 million baht (US$110,798). The director had to resort to selling gold to cover legal expenses and filed a lawsuit against the bank.

Initially overwhelmed and even contemplating suicide, the director reached out to a senior monk they knew for counsel.

The monk said…

“We are born with nothing and we leave with nothing, so do not let this loss destroy the life you have left.”

The story Khon Kaen Buddhism director scammed of 1.19 million baht as seen on Thaiger News.

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Author: Samantha Rose