Teenage lust for the newest mobile phones – and their parents’ willingness to acquiesce – opened the door to fraudsters that victimized kids in Pattaya and Issan.
This weekend alone, a Pattaya 12-year-old was conned out of 35,000 baht by buying an Apple iPhone on Facebook for 20-baht a day while a 15-year-old girl in Udon Thani splashed out 6,579 baht for a mail-order phone only to receive a bag of laundry detergent.
The Pattaya girl had ordered the phone on the Shopee app for her older brother and paid cash on delivery. But the girl said she didn’t open and check the package when the deliveryman was there.
She put the box aside and opened it later, only to find a small bag of laundry soap. Had she opened it at the time, of course, she wouldn’t have paid the C.O.D.
The girl contacted the online seller only to get an answering machine.
In Udon Thani, the father of the boy from Ban Dung District, Teerasak Luanglak, 37, said after he filed a police complaint he discovered that a 16-year-old girl was the Facebook scammer. She started the page after her parents split up.
The girl’s aunt promised to repay the 35,135 baht on condition the police charges are dropped.
Grandparents Suphan and Waan Luanglak said they had given the boy the cash, even though it had been set aside for operation of the family farm.
The original version of this story appeared in the Bangkok Herald, a Pattaya Mail partner.