In the heart of Thailand, a 75-year-old woman fell prey to a heart-wrenching romance scam, finding herself at the losing end of more than 18 million baht. A wicked, yet cunning scammer, played with her emotions and coaxed her into investing in a sham company called ‘Gold Future’. The ordeal unfolded, and the victim’s son found the courage to share the harrowing tale with Channel 7.
His aged mother, back in July, had cheerfully encouraged him to dive into the ‘Gold Future’ investment pool, sponsoring promises of a doubled fortune. Hearing of the suspiciously lucrative profits, the son detected a scam in the making and warned his mother to distance herself from it immediately.
Fast forward to August, the senior Thai woman manoeuvred herself into a corner, borrowing a hefty sum of 1 million baht from her two sons. In such a peculiar occasion, the victim confessed to borrowing from relatives to cover household expenses, leaving her sons puzzled. Never had their mother been a thumbnail sketch of a financially struggling individual; it was out of character and raised major alarm.
The truth of the matter unraveled itself on October 6th, with the shocking revelation that the senior woman had transferred an astronomical 18 million baht to the scammer. Despite her son attempting to draw her attention to the stark reality, the elderly woman stubbornly clung to her belief that the ‘Gold Future’ investment was a promising venture. It took a trusted family friend, who was also a police officer in their circle, to dissect the scam’s anatomy and shed light on the deceitful scheme before her.
Realising that her trust was shattered across a fraudulent platform, the mother decided to confide in her sons about the entire mishap, spilling every painstaking detail – a Thai man named Thavisak, otherwise known as Tee, pinged her on Facebook under the pretense of an unintended message. That marked the beginning of their digital connection. The mother acknowledged that she was seduced by Tee’s kind gestures, particularly during her hospitalization when he sent her flowers, sparking a budding romantic bond between them.
As romance blossomed, Tee lured her into the ‘Gold Future’ investment pit. She took a leap of faith, initiating positions with 100,000 baht on July 13, following it up by disposing of her precious diamond and gold accessories. Dipping into her relative’s pockets, she funneled a substantial chunk of her funds into the illusory business.
By the son’s account, his mother was repeatedly tricked into transferring substantial amounts to the scammer, with a shocking 18 million baht changing hands in 17 transactions. When he got in touch with Tee, he was met with more deceitful promises of a genuine business and a grand facade of documents to back up the claims. Efforts to unmask Tee at the flower shop, where he made the initial gesture, were met with stone walls – they refrained from revealing customer details due to their confidentiality policies.
The son sought legal action and filed a police report. The investigation is slated currently underway, as the family struggles to grapple with the fallout of this grand scam. Having fallen down the rabbit hole, the son’s message to every other household is clear – be vigilant with older family members and protect them from such scam artists that lurk in the shadows. Stay tuned to ‘The Thaiger’ and join us on our Facebook page for more stories.