Online shopping has surged because of the COVID-19 situation, but some shoppers have had the misfortune of receiving faulty items or being defrauded outright. The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society is now working with the Royal Thai Police and online platforms to improve the 1212 hotline service for receiving complaints relating to online issues, in hopes of expediting the suppression of online offenders.
Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn discussed the suppression of online crime with representatives from the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau and online platforms such as Facebook, Shopee and Lazada. He said afterward that the parties considered ways to speed up evidence gathering for cybercrime cases and the stepping up of prosecution of cybercriminals. The parties also discussed assistance for victims. The minister said more help for cybercrime victims will be made available through hotline no. 1212, the website www.1212occ.com, and the email address [email protected]
According to the minister, complaints lodged through the 1212 hotline from the start of the year up to 4 October were primarily about having been delivered items that did not match their description online, not receiving any products after placing an order, and having been sent defective items. The platform drawing the most complaints was Facebook, which accumulated 19,296 complaints during the period, accounting for 82.4% of all complaints. This was followed by complaints about websites (4.6%) and Instagram (4.3%).
The minister said the legal penalty for defrauding the public carries a maximum prison sentence of 5 years, a 10,000 baht fine, or a combination of both. Online frauds also fall under Section 11 of the Computer Crime Act, which entails a maximum fine of 100,000 baht. Additional penalties may also apply under other laws. (NNT)