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Fraudsters preying on foreign tourists steal Bt18 million in swipe card caper


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Picture: Daily News

 

Top cop Lt-Gen Jiraphop Phuridech sent in an investigation team from the Economic Crime Division after complaints from a commercial bank that customers had been swindled out of 18 million baht in a credit card swipe gang fraud. 

 

Raids in Bangkok, Pathum Thani and Sa Kaeo resulted in the arrest of four women - Nitaya, 40, Chanita, 57, Natthanon, 36 and Reuthai, 39 - and a man called Phaiboon, aged 46. 

 

They were using a deserted hotel in Sa Kaeo as a front and a base for stealing customer credit card data and passport numbers and swiping the details using an EDC - Electronic Data Capture machine.

 

Investigators found that the Thippra Hotel on Tessaban 12 Road had been shut since February 2019.

 

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Picture: Daily News

 

Tourists from many foreign countries as well as Thais were defrauded, reported Daily News yesterday.

 

They reported that from May to June last year the EDC machines were used 149 times in transactions to fool the bank. 

 

Two of those machines, 20 bank books, seven phones and piles of other evidence was gathered by the ECD police. 

 

The inquiry is being expanded to find all those behind it. 

 

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I wonder how many of the victims were able to get the charges cancelled.  Some cards have built-in "fraud insurance."

 

 

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2 hours ago, ezzra said:

are people so daft really?...

You'd be surprised... 

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I still don't get it, maybe they were using phones registered to the hotel to take bookings, which is why they set up base in the closed hotel to carry out this fraud, sounds like perhaps an employee of the hotel was involved

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4 hours ago, steven100 said:

That's how I see it but I may be wrong ...

You are absolutely right. Deserted hotel used as base of criminal operations. How they stole the card information may have been achieved via a variety of ways (phishing, skimming, POS manipulation, social engineering etc). IP address probably led police to cell tower nearest that abandoned hotel.

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5 hours ago, steven100 said:

I don't think they were using the hotel to take bookings .... I thought they were just using it as a base to operate their fraudulent activities.

 

They were using a deserted hotel in Sa Kaeo as a front and a base for stealing customer credit card data and passport numbers and swiping the details using an EDC - Electronic Data Capture machine. "

 

They were somehow stealing credit card info to access money from their accounts.  That's how I see it but I may be wrong ....

Doesn't it make you want  to come here as a tourist. If covid doesn't get you for a nice long stay in a hospital not of your choice than these crooks might clean you out. And yet they still come, stupid is as stupid does.

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7 hours ago, webfact said:

Top cop Lt-Gen Jiraphop Phuridech sent in an investigation team from the Economic Crime Division after complaints from a commercial bank that customers had been swindled out of 18 million baht in a credit card swipe gang fraud. 

Scam land strikes again.

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22 minutes ago, KannikaP said:

Come on, do some maths. Divide 18M by the 149 times they did it, and it averages at almost 121,000 Baht a time. Even if the hotel was 5000 a night, that's a lot of long stays.

Don't think they ran a charge through for just 1 night.  Got the card # /security code on back & PP #, so can run thru any amount, for anything if having.  Especially a repeat charge from a repeat vendor, as won't set off too many alarms with the CC company.

 

I've seen some silly priced hotels, and make it a weeks with 'spa' privileges ...  😂

Could even authorize themselves cash advances if wanting.

 

I can't believe people are that stupid, to use plastic at ma/pa vendors.

I use my card for ATM withdrawals, and a very rare purchase now & then, from trusted online vendor.

Edited by KhunLA
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50 minutes ago, vandeventer said:

Doesn't it make you want  to come here as a tourist. If covid doesn't get you for a nice long stay in a hospital not of your choice than these crooks might clean you out. And yet they still come, stupid is as stupid does.

Scams are certainly not exclusive to Thailand

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57 minutes ago, KhunLA said:

Pretty ingenious criminals.  

 

Stupid tourist.

Thats why scams are thriving, because they will pay anything to anybody and encourage them .

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14 minutes ago, KhunLA said:

I can't believe people are that stupid, to use plastic at ma/pa vendors.

Using credit cards, they are protected against fraud and can be reimbursed by the card issuer in cases like this. Had they paid by bank transfer - which is the other common option here - they would probably lose everything, unless some funds could be clawed back from the criminals.

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10 minutes ago, khunjeff said:

Using credit cards, they are protected against fraud and can be reimbursed by the card issuer in cases like this. Had they paid by bank transfer - which is the other common option here - they would probably lose everything, unless some funds could be clawed back from the criminals.

Or avoid the whole hassle of that, and simply use cash, especially for small purchases.

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8 hours ago, ezzra said:

I didn't get it, they defrauded people by claiming to own/run a hotel and stole people details and bilk their credit cards? if so, who books a "dead" hotel without to check and read up comments on the "hotel"? are people so daft really?...

Yes

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22 minutes ago, David T Pike said:

OK... Let me "splain" this to all those out there who are confused about this... 🙄

 

The hotel was never used for bookings made by the card holders! The crooks stole the card info with a card reader on a ATM or several ATMs with a "EDC - Electronic Data Capture machine." then they just used that info to make their own bookings for themselves to their own closed "hotel"!  Get it?  The people ripped off did not make reservations! It just took them sometime to see the fraudulent charges on their cards! Thus the late arrests. The crooks where probably not even at the hotel! It's not told where and how they were arrested.

 

Most people use their debit cards at ATMs not credit cards and they specifically say credit card swipe fraud, I don't know any ATMs that require you to swipe.

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3 hours ago, mvdf said:

You are absolutely right. Deserted hotel used as base of criminal operations. How they stole the card information may have been achieved via a variety of ways (phishing, skimming, POS manipulation, social engineering etc). IP address probably led police to cell tower nearest that abandoned hotel.

You'd have thought with 18m Bt they could afford a VPN...

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7 hours ago, delgarcon said:

They were indeed creating bookings in the deserted hotel, as reported in the Daily News. How could they believe that they wouldn't get caught, when all the police had to do was visit the hotel!

Well, most criminals are not known for their high IQ. They mostly operate out of magical thinking. 

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50 minutes ago, Ohyesuare said:

Most people use their debit cards at ATMs not credit cards and they specifically say credit card swipe fraud, I don't know any ATMs that require you to swipe.

Swiping a card is a relic from the past, most cards nowadays have a chip that is read by the machine and authenticated through the PIN number. 

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