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BANGKOK 13 December 2018 16:49
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ATM Scams In Thailand Run Rife

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Phuket ATM scams run rife

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One of the scammers hands off Mr Treherne's ATM card to his

accomplice while he is preoccupied with the cash machine.

Image: YouTube

PHUKET: -- An English expat has gone public about 814,000 baht allegedly stolen from his bank account in an ATM scam.

Following the Phuket Gazette report of the arrest of a Romanian gang for ATM fraud in Patong on March 13, Paul Treherne felt it was time to let other people know about his own ordeal.

The four Romanians were arrested for stealing as much as 100 million baht through ATM card scams.

It is believed that fraudsters in the United Kingdom used “skimmers” to read data from genuine ATM cards.

Stored on USB drives, the data was later transferred to blank ATM cards in Thailand, police said.

The scammers then allegedly used the counterfeit cards to make fraudulent withdrawals from their victims’ accounts.

Mr Treherne claims that his Thai Military Bank (TMB) card was cleverly “skimmed” right behind his back as he used an ATM at the United Overseas Bank (UOB) on Rat-U-Thit 200 Pi Road in Patong on January 27.

In surveillance footage shown to the Gazette by Mr Treherne, he was seen using an ATM as a European-looking man wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses approached from behind.

After Mr Treherne received his cash, he walked away from the machine. The suspect then produced a 1,000-baht note and called to him.

“He said, ‘Hey, you’ve not gotten all of your money from the ATM. This just came out of it’,” Mr Treherne said.

“The guy sounded French. He explained that he had this problem before and told me that I needed to check my account to be sure everything was correct,” he said.

In the video, the suspect hovered around Mr Treherne, “helping” him with his “problem” as another man wearing a motorcycle helmet and carrying a shoulder bag approached an adjacent ATM.

In what appeared to be a very practiced maneuver, the “helper” managed to get possession of Mr Treherne’s ATM card and pass it to the man in the motorcycle helmet.

The second suspect then opened his bag and put the card inside, running it through a skimmer, Mr Treherne believes.

The card was then passed back to the helper who managed to get it back to Mr Treherne while he was still preoccupied with the ATM.

It wasn’t until February 5 that Mr Treherne realized his account had been plundered.

Through a series of withdrawals using a counterfeit card in Pattaya and Bangkok, the thieves managed to steal 814,000 baht from Mr Treherne’s account.

Mr Treherne and his wife filed a report with Patong Police on February 5.

They later filed charges with the Pattaya Police after learning that four Frenchman were arrested there in February for a similar scam. “One of the guys arrested in Pattaya – the skinny fellow – I’m sure he’s the one in the motorcycle helmet that skimmed my card,” he said.

Mr Treherne was also shown photographs from one ATM in Bangkok depicting a man with Arab features allegedly withdrawing money from his account.

Capt Teerasak Boonsaeng of Patong Police said they believe the gang responsible for Mr Treherne’s case has yet to be arrested.

“Right now we are trying to compose a sketch of the suspect and issue an arrest warrant,” he said.

Mr Treherne praised Kathu Police for their handling of the case.

“They have their eyes open and have been very helpful – especially Capt Teerasak. These guys are diligent and on top of the case,” he said.

However, Mr Treherne is very dissatisfied with TMB in their response.

“They have not responded to any of my emails other than to issue an automatic response saying that my complaint was noted and that someone would contact me as soon as possible,” he said.

“They are not taking responsibility for this. They [the suspects] didn’t steal my money – they used a fake ATM card, not mine, to take money from TMB in a different city. They should give me back my money,” he said.

“If this is the way it’s going to be, I don’t feel my money is safe with them,” he added.

Anuchart Chatchayanukorn, manager at TMB’s Jungceylon branch, told the Gazette, “As I know now, the case is with the police. We have already forwarded the documents and other information to both the police and our client.”

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-- Phuket Gazette 2011-03-22

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In the video, the suspect hovered around Mr Treherne, “helping” him with his “problem” as another man wearing a motorcycle helmet and carrying a shoulder bag approached an adjacent ATM.

Hum... Would you ever let anyone "help" you with your ATM transaction?

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No, If anybody comes to close I'll tell them firmly to take a step back if that doesn't work I might have to do it physically.

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What a wanke_r...giving your ATM card to a total stranger and then complaining that it was skimmed and then blaming the bank for money lost from the account. Pretty stupid for having so much money in an ATM card accessible account as well. Should have two accounts at the bank...one with an ATM card and the other without. When necessary, top-off the ATM-account at the teller window with only a month or two's expenses.

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They should give me back my money,” he said.

Good luck with that :lol:

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Hey TMB, I gave this total stranger my card and PIN and when he stole money out of my account you didn't stop him.

Wah! Waaaaah! :passifier:

(I think I'll open an account at TMB.)

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Last December I was using an ATM in Jomtien to withdraw quite a bit of money to pay my builder. I was withdrawing it to give directly to the supervisor for the contractor who was sitting in his car. As I got in the car to pay him a skinny french guy came to the window waving a 1,000baht note he said I had forgotten it in the machine. He then started to get quite excited about me going to check my account to make sure it's right. I took the 1,000 baht and thanked him and told him I don't need to check my account and rolled up the window. He then started to freak out demanding I check my account shouting at us in the car. My builder who is Texan and about 6ft 3in got out told him to bugger off. He did.

Maybe the same guy, maybe not.

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What a wanke_r...giving your ATM card to a total stranger and then complaining that it was skimmed and then blaming the bank for money lost from the account. Pretty stupid for having so much money in an ATM card accessible account as well. Should have two accounts at the bank...one with an ATM card and the other without. When necessary, top-off the ATM-account at the teller window with only a month or two's expenses.

Agree with this. Get two accounts and top up the ATM connected account once or twice a month. If the staff are pretty and chatty, top up once a week. :)

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So what was the scam, if the geezer was at the machine and accessing his account his card would be in the machine and being able to be handed to the other guy to skim, dumb is as dumb does.

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Last December I was using an ATM in Jomtien to withdraw quite a bit of money to pay my builder. I was withdrawing it to give directly to the supervisor for the contractor who was sitting in his car. As I got in the car to pay him a skinny french guy came to the window waving a 1,000baht note he said I had forgotten it in the machine. He then started to get quite excited about me going to check my account to make sure it's right. I took the 1,000 baht and thanked him and told him I don't need to check my account and rolled up the window. He then started to freak out demanding I check my account shouting at us in the car. My builder who is Texan and about 6ft 3in got out told him to bugger off. He did.

Maybe the same guy, maybe not.

Genius, you scammed a scammer. Although this con trick, like most, plays to people's greed and belief that someone offering money wouldn't mean them harm, people can often get overwhelmed and intimidated, especially if they don't have back-up!

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In the video, the suspect hovered around Mr Treherne, "helping" him with his "problem" as another man wearing a motorcycle helmet and carrying a shoulder bag approached an adjacent ATM.

Hum... Would you ever let anyone "help" you with your ATM transaction?

lol exactly.

sounds like a double (or triple ) bluff whistling.gif

but unlike sucker western banks that pay up (and then screw it out of the honest customer) me thinks Thai banks may be a little different..

"Mr Treheme"

lol again

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What a wanke_r...giving your ATM card to a total stranger and then complaining that it was skimmed and then blaming the bank for money lost from the account. Pretty stupid for having so much money in an ATM card accessible account as well. Should have two accounts at the bank...one with an ATM card and the other without. When necessary, top-off the ATM-account at the teller window with only a month or two's expenses.

W&^%&*R or con man??jap.gif

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What a wanke_r...giving your ATM card to a total stranger and then complaining that it was skimmed and then blaming the bank for money lost from the account. Pretty stupid for having so much money in an ATM card accessible account as well. Should have two accounts at the bank...one with an ATM card and the other without. When necessary, top-off the ATM-account at the teller window with only a month or two's expenses.

While I feel sorry for the poor naive victim (who believes that all people, or at least all farangs, are honest), I do think he is too naive for this world. I don't like to refer to common sense, but a basic sense might have prevented him from becoming a victim. I don't like scammers. But I also don't understand people who fall for them. There certainly shouldn't be a market for these scammers.

By the way, copying only the card would not have enabled the scammers to access his account. He must have given them the PIN code as well.

I sincerely hope that he learned from this experience. As I always say: The school of life is not free of charge. And if you don't learn the lesson, it will be repeated for you and you will pay the tuition fee again.

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Don't Thai Banks allow you to be able to set a limit on the daily withdraw amount from your ATM?

As I am reading this it appears they stole near $30,000 US in a about a weeks time from his ATM.

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I won't use an atm if someone is behind me.I just walk away and come back when noones there.

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