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SCAMMER posed as Thai Army Chief’s DAUGHTER

SCAMMER posed as Thai Army Chief’s DAUGHTER

A young woman using a fake Facebook profile and claiming to be the daughter of army chief Apirat Kongsompong has been charged with conning men out of money.

Crime Suppression Division (CSD) police arrested Wanida Thongtum in front of a resort in Phrom Buri district of this central province on Friday evening.

Ms Wanida, 26, was wanted on two warrants issued by the Criminal Court for fraud and inputting false information into a computer system.

The arrest came after singer Jinda “Jin The Voice” Wiriyasangjun filed a complaint with Wang Thong Lang police in Bangkok, Pol Col Thongchai Yookate, superintendent of CSD subdivision 1 said on Saturday.

The singer said he had been swindled by someone using a fake profile photo of a good-looking woman on Facebook.

The woman, who was later unmasked as Ms Wanida, had approached him online. She later claimed to be the daughter of Gen Apirat.

To convince the singer that she really was related to the army chief known as Big Daeng, the woman invited him to join the family’s Line chat group.

The real Gen Apirat has one son and one daughter. But all of the members of the chat group were bogus.

After the two became close online for a while, the woman duped Mr Jinda into transferring more than 150,000 baht to her account, said police.

Mr Jinda later became suspicious as the woman kept postponing appointments for them to meet in person. After he did some further investigating and determined that the profile photo was fake, he went to the police.

Pol Col Thongchai said Ms Wanida also duped a snooker player out of 200,000 baht in the same online romance scam.

He was not named but had filed a complaint earlier with Thung Song Hong police in Bangkok.

Mr Jinda, who gave his statement to CSD officers on Saturday, said he wanted his story to be a lesson for others. They should take extra caution when being approached by someone online.

Pol Lt Col Pattanapong Sripinphor, deputy chief of CSD subdivision 1, said scammers often used photos of goodlooking people taken by studios or professional photographers as their profile photos on social media.

Their Facebook accounts also tend to contain only a few photos, since creating a lot of authentic-looking pictures using fake images could be difficult, he added.

The photo used by Ms Wanida was found to be of a Cambodian girl, said Pol Lt Col Pattanapong.