Thailand is displeased with Facebook for not adequately monitoring and eliminating the circulation of risky financial schemes on its platform. As per Thailand's ministry of digital economy, over 2,00,000 Thai nationals have been duped via Facebook where scammers lured them with crypto schemes and auctions for high returns, among other scams. The authorities of the Asian nation are now planning to seek legal intervention to get its concerns addressed. The Thai government fears that such scams circulating on Facebook pose a serious threat to the national economy.
Chaiwut Thanakmanusorn, Thailand's Minister of Digital Economy and Society (DES), believes that Facebook should be restricted in the country for the time being.
“The Ministry has sent a letter asking Meta and Facebook to solve such problems. DES is in the process of compiling evidence from the offenders on the Facebook platform to send the court,” an official statement from the DES said.
Thailand authorities claim that Facebook is letting its nationals get exposed to financially risky content. Cyber thieves are luring victims with crypto investment suggestions, getting them to trade in digital coins, and manipulating them to engage with malicious websites — all via Facebook.
Over 2,00,000 Thai nationals have collectively lost THB 10,000 million (roughly Rs. 2,370 crore) owing to these cyber scams, the authorities have said.
Since crypto transactions are largely anonymous, many cyber criminals prefer to steal assets in the form of cryptocurrencies. This helps them dodge and evade law enforcement agents trying to find a trail to the stolen funds.
As per Web3 security firm Beosin, total losses from hacks, phishing scams, and rug pulls in Web3 has already reached $655.61 million (roughly Rs. 5,420 crore) in the first half of 2023.
Statics firm Triple-A estimates that over 6.2 million people making for 9.3 percent of Thailand's total population currently owns cryptocurrency.
The government there, hence, wishes to ensure that no mainstream social networking platform like Facebook expose users to such scams.
“If Facebook wants to do business in Thailand, it must show responsibility to Thai society. In the past, the ministry has been in talks with Facebook all the time. However, the Facebook did not screen advertisers, causing damage to Thai people,” said Chaiwut.
Other platforms like LinkedIn, Threads, and X have also emerged as hotspots for crypto scammers in recent times.
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