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SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. & Scamming News: Thailand Crackdown Forces Romance Scam Syndicates To Malaysia [GALLERY]

In Just One Year, 2018, A Whopping 162.2 Million Baht (RM22.39 million Malaysian OR US$5,133,479.96) Was Fleeced From Thailand Victims Who Fell Prey To Online Romance ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. Operating In Thailand

But with the heat on them, syndicates behind these rackets are now running south to Malaysia to set up base.

A Gallery Of Scammers Arrested In The Last 18 Months In Thailand

Thailand Police said the good news was that the numbers have fallen compared to previous years, and much of this can be attributed to increased surveillance and operations.

Commander of Immigration Division 3 of the Thai Royal Police, Pol Maj Gen Archayon Kraithong, said that between June 2018 and May this year, 306 romance scam cases were reported to Thailand’s Action Taskforce for Information Technology Crime Suppression (Tactics).

Of these, 252 con artists were apprehended, and some 4.57 million baht of the ill-gotten gains were retrieved from them and returned to 23 victims.

In an interview with Thai News recently, he said that “in the last six months of 2018, some 254 cases were reported to Tactics.”

The police and the Immigration went all-out after that in a major nationwide crackdown on the syndicates, and Archayon believes the high number of syndicates crippled is a reason why the number of similar scams has fallen sharply of late.

He said that “from January to May this year, a total of 61 cases were recorded, of which only five were reported in April compared to an average of 60 cases a month last year.”

And Archayon believes that the reason for this is simply because many of the syndicates are not even in Thailand anymore.

“Now, most of them (scammers) have moved their base to Malaysia, but not all as there are some still remaining in Thailand,“ he said.

The police stings are not confined to home either. In January, Thai police joined their Malaysian counterparts to bust a romance scam syndicate of Nigerians operating out of Kuala Lumpur who, till then, had conned Thais out of some 100 million baht (over US$3,000,000 dollars.)

The operation led to the arrest of seven Nigerians and seven female Thai accomplices and it was the same gangGang A gang is normally a group or society of associated criminals with a defined leadership and internal organization that identifies with or claims control over a territory or business practice in a community and engages, either individually or collectively, in illegal, and possibly violent, behavior. Online gangs are not limited by territory and may operate side by side with other gangs while engaging in crime online. Some members of criminal gangs are initiated (by going through a process of initiation), or have to prove their loyalty and right to belong by committing certain acts, usually theft or violence, or rituals. Gangs are usually rougher and more visible than scammer cartels, and more often arrested. that fled Thailand a year ago to set up in base in Kuala Lumpur. However, in the last year hundreds of scammers have been arrested in Thailand.

Archayon said “that typically, online love scamLove scam Dating scammers or love scammers create fake identities on dating apps and social media to coax you into fake online relationships. They often quickly move to personal channels such as phone or email, using your trust to acquire money or personal info, or help you hide their criminal activities. You'll probably never meet them in person. This is a relationship scam. syndicates in Thailand are mostly operated by Africans, who will be in cohorts with their local wives of girlfriends to prey on Thai women via online dating platforms and social media sites such as Facebook.”

The conman will normally assume a fake Caucasian identity and after establishing romantic relationships with their victims, will persuade them to wire them money on the pretext that it was needed to pay fees or taxes for the delivery of their luxury gifts for the victims.

If there is suspicion raised, the conmen will get their local partners to pose as local enforcement authorities or delivery employees to make the calls sound authentic.

“It is sad to see the locals being lured into this intricate trap of love scams,“ he said.

Besides romance scams, Archayon said, Thais also fall prey to “call center” scams where syndicates use fake identities to dupe victims to part with their cash

Since December 2017 to May this year, Archayon said “Thais have been cheated out of 260.4 million baht by these “call center” syndicates.”

“We returned about 25.7 million baht (US$813,381.23 dollars) seized from these scammers to 125 victims,“ he said, adding that 551 suspects were arrested.

Similar to what happened with the romance scams, the number of cases dropped sharply after major crackdowns in the country as well as joint operations with counterparts in the region, with only six cases, reported so far in the first five months this year, compared to 356 reported throughout 2018.

Archayon said “many call center scam syndicates prefer using Thailand as their operations base as it had the perfect conditions for foreign nationals – good food, cheap accommodation, good infrastructure, flexible laws, and some good hideout locations as well.”

He said the “cases are made more baffling after police found that among the victims were professionals and those holding high posts in the private and public sectors”

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