The recent news of a bank card scam that affected over 10,000 Thai bank account holders should make consumers take pains to protect themselves from online fraudsters ahead of the year-end shopping season.

The reports of the bank shenanigans surfaced early this week. The Bank of Thailand said unauthorised withdrawals of 130 million baht were made from over 10,000 debit and credit card accounts from Oct 1-16.

The news again highlights the lack of security in the e-commerce world. According to the Bank of Thailand (BoT), there are some 89 million debit and credit card accounts in Thailand. A 2020 study by JP Morgan showed that cross-border purchasing accounted for 30% of the e-commerce market in the kingdom, with 49% of online consumers having made a purchase from abroad that year.

Thailand’s mobile commerce market is worth an estimated 490 billion baht, a figure set to grow to 775 billion baht by 2023, the study said.

While e-commerce is thriving here, as in many parts of Asia, the legal mechanism to protect consumers needs to catch up. Enforcement of the 2019 Thailand Personal Data Protection Act, which aims to standardise data protection in the kingdom, has been postponed until June. The law will provide guidelines and penalties for any breaches of cyber security law, including e-commerce activities.

For instance, private and public companies that store consumers’ data in their private databases must be required to protect said data or face a penalty….

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