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  1. #1
    watterinja
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    Case of ATM fraud outside Bangkok

    I'd like to warn other foreigners living in Thailand to be on the alert for well-orchestrated ATM fraud in Thailand. This involves wholly-owned Thai banks, savings accounts & associated ATM cards.

    I have two Thai bank accounts - one with Siam Commercial Bank & the other with Bangkok Bank. The first is operated as a purely savings account, & the second as an operating account. I opened the accounts alone & only I knew the passwords. My ATM cards were never lent to anyone else & were guarded very carefully.

    Three weeks ago I visited Mukdahan for a long weekend. On the Saturday (14/07/07), I withdrew a small amount from the BBL account. I flew back to BKK on Monday 16/07/07. When I arrived back, I noted that THB 2,000 had been withdrawn from the SCB account on the Sunday at 18h33 (15/07/07). It worried me but I figured that I must have overlooked something & perhaps inadvertently drawn something without thinking. I wasn't comfortable & decided to watch the accounts hawkishly.

    Last weekend I again went up to Mukdahan. On the Sunday 05/08/07 I withdrew a small amount at the Tesco from the BBL account. On Monday 06/08/07 I got up late, packed & caught the taxi to Ubon & flew back to BKK. When I got back, I went to perform an online transfer yesterday & observed THB 2,000 movement from the BBL account at 08h43, & immediately decided to check the SCB account. Yep, THB 3,000 had been withdrawn on the same day from SCB - 6 minutes apart from the BBL raid.

    I immediately began emptying the accounts & took the money off to a more safe location. I went into my SCB branch today & had their Customer Relations look into the matter. Both SCB unauthorised withdrawals had occurred in Mukdahan.

    I will go into Bangkok Bank tomorrow & try to find out their story.

    Now the way it works is as follows. SCB traced the transactions & basically let it be known that they consider it to be an inside job by 'someone close to me'. Now, I have grilled everyone who was around & at the times the banks show withdrawals, they were all in my visual contact. SCB cannot obtain ATM photos because they were not their own ATM machines (so they say). They will basically not become further involved.

    The odd thing is that each transaction has a trace on it & Bangkok Bank print it in their savings book. The code against transfers made from the BBL account into my SCB savings account have exactly the same code as that for the first raid on the Mukdahan account - odd isn't it.

    My suspicion is that a key-logger has been placed on a machine in Carrefour, MinBuri & the passwords captured. As soon as an out-of-town withdrawal is made from the BBL it triggers an action within an ATM fraud network. A local person is dispatched in Mukdahan with a copy of the BBL card & SCB card details. He/she draws the money & splits the proceeds with the group.

    This story corresponds directly with that of a friend of mine in Mukdahan who has two raids on his Ayuthaya Bank savings account. He got the bank manager to go through the ATM film & identified a fellow using a card which was rejected on the first attempt. The fellow then goes out, makes a call & re-tries. He succeeds & skims off THB 2,000 & goes off. He had his hat pulled low over his eyes & could not be recognised. The bank & police take that it was a family inside job. The police never did anything even though he spent hours making statements.

    The Bank's aren't interested & so it ends up being the account-holder's problem. I believe that it is an inside job in the Thai banking system.

    I will go in & re-pin tomorrow. The one account has been reduced to beans today via transfers & ATM withdrawals. In future I'm planning to send the funds abroad, even if the costs eat a little - it will be safer.

    It is no wonder that the friend I mentioned has had his ATM card withdrawn by the issuing bank as they no longer support their cards in Thailand. His other bank refuses to issue him a ATM card for use in Thailand. Reason - this is considered to be one of the worst countries in the world in terms of banking fraud & the foreign banks are sick of it.

    Be careful folks.
    Last edited by watterinja; 08-08-2007 at 07:08 PM.

  2. #2
    ding ding ding
    Spin's Avatar
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    I dont trust Thai banks as far as I can kick them.

    The security for logging onto the SCB online banking and can be at best described as foking shit. It would be easier to hack than this forum.
    Inside jobs are common, the "prize blag" doing the rounds at the moment is done with the help of bank employees. People with a decent balance in their accounts are being called up and addressed by their names and told they have won a large cash prize and they have to give account number at their bank so that they can recieve their prize, The blagger request the person to visit the atm at a specific time to see if the money has been recieved, while the victim is at the atm the blaggers call back and ask for a "transaction tax" payment to be made via transfer at the atm. A friends gf nearly fell for this scam the other day after she was told she had won 55K. His gf got wind of the scam and told the guy she knew what he was trying to do and the guy said never mind i have made 400,000 baht doing this today!
    the scammers must get this names and phone numbers from the banks of people with decent money in their accounts.

  3. #3
    I am in Jail

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spin View Post
    the scammers must get this names and phone numbers from the banks of people with decent money in their accounts.
    You only have to throw a bank statement & your internet bill or something similar & they would have all info they need. This happens everywhere & your card could be being skimmed every time you use it. Could be anything, anywhere & you simply don't know it.

    That said, I don't trust Thai banks myself.

  4. #4
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shehiredahitman
    This happens everywhere & your card could be being skimmed every time you use it.
    True but an outside job would more likely have emptied the account.

    The fact that only 2000 baht has been syphoned off each time makes it look like an inside job to me.

  5. #5
    or TizYou?
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    2 weeks ago I withdrew 20,000 Baht from SCB ATM using my Australian ATM card. A couple of days later I checked my Aus account online and saw that the following day was another transaction for a 20,000 baht withdrawal that had never taken place.

    I immediately rang my bank in Aus and they immediately reversed the non-authorised transaction. No questions asked.

    Thai banks could learn a thing or 2 about customer service.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat
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    Customer service is one thing and expensive enough, but to actually credit you with funds stolen from your account which they are responsible to protect is a very different proposition, especially since that implies they're not doing a very good job.

  7. #7
    watterinja
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thetyim View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by shehiredahitman
    This happens everywhere & your card could be being skimmed every time you use it.
    True but an outside job would more likely have emptied the account.

    The fact that only 2000 baht has been syphoned off each time makes it look like an inside job to me.
    I agree Thetyim.

    Unfortunately, the bank official used this as 'evidence' that it was a 'family' inside job - as in 'my' family, not 'his'.

    It is most alarming that the bank officials will not handle such a matter directly, but instead get you onto a global helpline. They are totally useless. I'm not used to this kind of approach - especially from bankers.

  8. #8
    watterinja
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    Quote Originally Posted by keda View Post
    Customer service is one thing and expensive enough, but to actually credit you with funds stolen from your account which they are responsible to protect is a very different proposition, especially since that implies they're not doing a very good job.
    Decent foreign banks have insurance against this kind of eventuality.

    Thai banks simply walk away & wash their hands - with a typical Thai smile. They don't care.

  9. #9
    I am in Jail

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    Where's the 'face' in that?

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat
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    Their face, not yours...can only be that you're trying a fast one or were ripped off by a friend or family.

  11. #11
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    The missus's mum has lost the money from the apartment rent. She swears she didn't take it out of the ATM. Her memory is not too good these days but she isn't at the point of not knowing things. She managed to get the money out from us at the start of the month but forgot about the money that was due in a few days later. She remembered a couple of days ago and went to get it but it was gone.

    The missus has been to the bank to see if it had gone in. It had and the whole lot had been withdrawn the same day (3500).

    The missus now needs to go back to the bank and find out what ATM the money was taken from.

    Her mum had a friend help her get the first lot of money out of the ATM so she is suspect number one. The brothers gf is a useless lazy bitch who lays around the house all day. Suspect number 2. ATM scam suspect number 3. I'm sure though that if it is an ATM scam the bank will admit to there having been more than one at that machine (most likely not)

    The missus wants to leave the ATM card active for a month to see if it happens again??????? Not sure what that would prove other than losing another months rent. I have told her to cancel the cards and wait a bit. The closest bank is ten minutes by bus so she is going to get her mum to use the bank book to withdraw money from now on.

  12. #12
    watterinja
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    ^ Suggest a change of pin number & then only draw at the ATM located at the branch at which the account is held. In that way you can begin to try & pin down the blame.

    Once you find out that the bank was negligent - how will you proceed?

    If you did an international bank transfer into her account, then may be something was triggered - with a falang potentially involved. I am getting the impression that falangs are targeted as they generally have more money, & cannot, in general defend themselves under Thai law.

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