Online and phone-call scammers stole 31.58 billion baht from 218,210 complainants over the past 12 months, police said on Tuesday.
Pol Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang, assistat police chief, said the figures were collected from March 1 last year to March 11 this year.
The highest damage resulted from investment scams. Victims filed 16,460 complaints and told police they were tricked out of 7.66 billion baht altogether, Pol Lt Gen Sompong said.
During the same period, police received 29,945 complaints about job search scams and complainants said they lost 3.32 billion baht in total.
There were 81,288 complaints about shopping scams, which caused 1.01 billion baht in losses. There were also 24,821 complaints about loan scams, which demanded victims pay “upfront fees” totalling 1.03 billion baht.
Imposter scams led to 7,285 complaints with damage estimated at 254 million baht. Meanwhile, there were 3,201 romance scams, which defrauded victims of 1.56 billion baht altogether.
Pol Lt Gen Sompong said that many scammers were claiming to be government officials and fooled their victims into giving personal data and clicking links which gave them control of victims’ bank accounts.
This included scammers ripping people off by claiming to be facilitating subscription to the government’s welfare schemes. The government recently announced 14.6 million low-income people could register to receive benefits under a new phase of the state welfare card programme, due to begin on April 1.