Within a year

Sherab Lhamo

More than Nu 9 million have been scammed out of the public between 2023 and April 2, 2024, with an increasing number of people being scammed, 17 already in 2024, as compared to 11 in the past year.

The majority of the scam victims were from Thimphu. According to police, the scammers used various methods to scam people –hacking email account, accessing OTP (one time password) number, luring into investment opportunities like Qnet, Tallwin ponzi scheme, crypto business trading, lottery scams, online job opportunities, and even gifts.

In an on-going investigation,  police found that the victim’s money was in-cashed through an ATM. 

As a warning to its clients, the Bank of Bhutan ran a scam awareness and sensitisation saying, the bank will never ask for personal details such as personal information, account number, and ATM card number. 

Other organisations had also been notifying the public regularly on social media, and on their websites to not to share personal information, opening links from people you don’t know, investing in crypto-business, ponzi schemes and others.

Telecom companies and banks are also warning  people to not  share the one-time password (OTP), but people still do. 

Karma Dorji of the Department of Law and Order said, they have received three cases, in which two victims were aware that they were being scammed and informed the department. One of the victims was tricked into believing that he was being contacted by a visa processing office.  

The scammers had sent the victims money to four different accounts recipients, which are currently frozen.

In most cases, it was observed that the scam victims only approached authorities for help or field a complaint after months, by which time the transaction would have been completed.