On Wednesday, Thai police announced they had busted an international gang that operated call centers to deceive older Americans into wiring them money. The scam netted the criminals a staggering $87 million.
The 21 suspects were arrested in Thailand with the help of American officials. Five of the suspects were Indian nationals and the other 31 were Thai citizens.
The scammers targeted elderly Americans by calling them and pretending to be from government agencies or banks. They would then ask for personal information and money transfers to pay for taxes, fines, or debts.
Police went undercover to track the gang’s money and found it had been laundered through gold shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues across Thailand. The investigation is ongoing as police try to recover more of the stolen funds.
This case serves as a reminder that all people should remain vigilant when it comes to phone calls asking for personal information or money transfers. If you receive such a call, hang up immediately and contact your local law enforcement agency if necessary.
Thai police have made great strides in cracking down on these types of scams in recent years, but there is still much work to be done in order to protect vulnerable populations from falling victim to these schemes.