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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Thailand police investigate hackers who steal and sell vaccine appointments

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Amid vaccine scarcity in Thailand’s slow rollout and a tumultuous registration process with ever-changing systems and small sign-up windows, the Thai population is seeking all kinds of means to get vaccinated.

People pretending to be doctors were selling fake vaccine appointments online, and authorities accused members of the Hi-So elite of renting motorcycle taxi vests to impersonate pre-vaccination taxi drivers.

People even pretended to be over 60 to make an appointment for Bang Sue’s senior vaccination program.

AND NOW, hackers are also joining the vaccine scam by stealing and selling appointments online.

The hackers have been accused of infiltrating the computer systems of a mobile phone service provider to access details of vaccine appointments at the Bang Sue Grand Station vaccine centre in Bangkok. They then sold these appointments to people who wanted to be vaccinated for 500 to 1000 baht each, said Thailand’s Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob.

Speaking about the crime, he explained that the mobile phone company – which has not been named so far – has discovered the security breach and has filed a complaint with the police, asking for help in tracking down and identifying the hackers. . Police have vowed to investigate and take those involved to court, saying that if convicted, the hackers could face up to 10 years in prison.

The national police will also investigate the possibility of a government official being involved in the sale of hacked vaccination appointments online, something that is not inconceivable in Thailand.

The Transport Minister warned people to be careful and avoid being scammed or paying money for scams or cons that would allow access to vaccination in any way without a properly registered appointment. There are official channels for making appointments and getting a vaccination, and participating in other methods can lead to people losing their money or even facing criminal charges.

The minister even warned that those who bought these hacked vaccine deals could face prosecution if they do not report to the police and went so far as to say that those who do not cooperate with the police will lose their right to a vaccine. provided by the Thai government.

Those who paid the hackers for a vaccine appointment and come forward to assist the police in their investigation by providing information about how they bought the appointments or proof of payment will be given a grace period and still get a vaccine.

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