May 4, 2023
BANGKOK – In February, the Thai Bankers’ Association (TBA) warned that online scams netted about 500 million baht last year, mainly by tricking people to click on a link that secretly installed a program on their computer or phone.
Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn oversaw the signing ceremony for the new app-based alert service on Wednesday. Representatives from the 16 banks and the Bank of Thailand (BOT) were also present.
Chaiwut said the collaboration expands efforts to prevent cybercrime by providing useful information to the public and updating them about the latest developments in cybercrime prevention. The ministry led the way by collaborating with the BOT to use the Pao Tang application, which has over 40 million users, as an online channel for notifying users about scams in late 2022.
The new collaboration is led by the ministry’s Anti-Fake News Centre, which will provide the banks with links to fake news databases so they can disseminate warnings about financial fraud and scams to their customers through both online and other channels.
The 16 participating banks are Bangkok Bank, Krung Thai Bank, Kasikornbank, CIMB Thai Bank, TMB Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, Thanachart Bank, TISCO Bank, Krungsri Consumer, UOB, Land and Houses Bank, Standard Chartered, Bank of China, ICBC, and the Government Savings Bank.
Wednesday’s signing ceremony follows the issuance of a royal decree, effective from March 17, on measures to prevent and suppress technology-related crime.
The anti-scam push has also seen banks halt the sending of all types of links via SMS and emails, and notify users before every mobile banking transaction. Meanwhile, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission and service providers have blocked over 167,000 suspect phone numbers, Chaiwut said. The Anti-Money Laundering Office has also sent a list of high-risk individuals, or those to be monitored, including nominee account holders, to the banks, he added.