Fighting Investment Frauds: Thai Capital Market Unites for Public Safety

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In a robust and determined effort to safeguard public safety and protect investors from the rising threat of investment frauds, the Thai capital market has come together in an unprecedented display of unity. Led by the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), the collaboration includes vital entities in the capital market sector, business organizations, and government agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federation of Thai Capital Market Organizations (FETCO), Thai Bankers’ Association (TBA), Thai Listed Companies Association (TLCA), mai-listed Company Association (maiA), Association of Thai Securities Companies (ASCO), Association of Investment Management Companies (AIMC), Capital Market Development Fund (CMDF), Anti-Fake News Center Thailand (AFNC), and Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB).

The key focus of this alliance is to jointly combat investment frauds by exchanging information, identifying and exposing fake news, and launching public awareness campaigns. By arming the public with immunity against deceptive schemes, the partners aim to thwart scammers and prevent unsuspecting victims from falling prey to their malicious tactics.

One of the pivotal initiatives undertaken is organizing seminars where experts share their insights and experiences, offering solutions to counter investment scams under the theme “Getting Smart to Avoid Investment Scams with Immunity to Fraud.” Esteemed guest speakers at such events include Wetang Phuangsup, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DES), Vikrom Kromadit, Chairman of Amata Corporation pcl, Pichet Sithi-Amnuai, Chairman of ASCO, Chavinda Hanratanakool, Chairman of AIMC, and Rongrak Phanapavudhikul, SET Senior Executive Vice President.

Highlighting the urgency of addressing investment scams in the digital age, SET President Pakorn Peetathawatchai stressed that fraudsters have increasingly exploited social media platforms to deceive victims by impersonating reputable organizations, executives, and celebrities. This not only impacts individual victims but also poses significant risks to the overall economy and society at large. As the country’s premier investment platform, SET, in collaboration with various stakeholders, has initiated the “Collaboration in the Fight Against Investment Fraud” project. In its initial phase, the partners aim to communicate collectively, unveiling facts and exposing fake news, while disseminating knowledge to build immunity and resilience among investors and the general public through multiple channels and diverse media formats.

In the subsequent phase, there will be an integration of operating systems between the capital market sector and government agencies, enabling the swift and efficient handling of fraudulent investment cases.

The Acting SEC Secretary-General, Thawatchai Pittayasophon, highlighted the prevalence of online investment scams, wherein fraudsters misuse the name and logo of SEC, organizations, companies, and individuals associated with the capital market on social media platforms. Recognizing the gravity of these scams, SEC has consistently taken measures to protect investors and provide them with ample information to shield themselves from harm. The collaboration in the fight against investment fraud marks a significant step towards collectively preventing such scams.

FETCO Chairman Kobsak Pootrakool emphasized that the increasing trend of investment scams requires a comprehensive approach that encompasses prevention, deterrence, and suppression. The collaboration in the fight against investment fraud reflects the concerted efforts of various capital market organizations and government sectors to tackle these issues, reduce economic losses, and protect people from becoming victims of fraudulent schemes.

The Chairman of TBA, Payong Srivanich, shared that banks, in coordination with related agencies, have taken proactive measures to combat fraudulent financial activities. These include cancelling the sending of SMS and email with links, implementing mobile banking alerts, and requiring facial scans for mobile-banking money transfers exceeding a certain threshold. For faster problem resolution for financial fraud victims, banks have set up 24/7 hotline call centers, offering responsive support. Moreover, banks prioritize enhancing “financial literacy” among the public, empowering them to protect their money by scrutinizing propaganda techniques and evaluating the credibility of investment offers.

Listed companies have also been targets of fraudsters, causing damages to both the victims and the companies’ credibility. TLCA President Angkana Tepprasertwangsa affirmed TLCA’s commitment to join the campaign and create awareness among the public, while taking legal actions against wrongdoers to protect entrepreneurs from falling prey to scams.

As the current investment landscape witnesses an increase in fraudulent advertisements promising unrealistic high returns, maiA President Wirat Sukchai emphasized the importance of guidelines to safeguard entrepreneurs from falling into such traps. Alongside legal actions against wrongdoers, maiA aims to create immunity for both listed companies and the general public, reducing potential losses from investment scams.

Addressing the challenges posed by fraudsters hiding in the online world, ASCO Chairman Pichet Sithi-Amnuai urged the public to exercise caution and verify the legitimacy of companies and promised returns before investing. ASCO and securities companies are committed to constant communication and notifications across various channels to combat deceptive practices effectively.

AIMC Chairman Chavinda Hanratanakool emphasized the importance of verifying investment opportunities and ensuring that the entities offering mutual funds are authorized by the SEC. Individuals should be wary of fraudulent advertisements promising quick and unrealistic returns and should not be swayed by deceptive tactics.

CMDF President Chanant Charnchainarong stressed CMDF’s mission to enhance knowledge and understanding of the capital market and investment, supporting public education projects through diverse media to reach people of all ages and genders. In line with this, CMDF will soon launch the project on immunization against investment scams.

The public is encouraged to actively participate in the joint effort to fight against investment frauds by checking, pointing out, and sharing any suspicious investment invitations offering unrealistic high returns or using the names of leading organizations and celebrities as testimonials. By remaining vigilant and verifying information directly with referred organizations or checking the list of licensed individuals, business operators, or financial services, people can protect themselves and others from falling victim to scammers.

In conclusion, the “Collaboration in the Fight Against Investment Fraud” initiative marks a pivotal step in strengthening the capital market sector’s commitment to public welfare. Through unified efforts and preventive measures, the alliance strives to empower the public with knowledge and immunity, ensuring a safer investment landscape and protecting individuals and businesses from financial harm.

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