Motorists in Thailand are advised to only apply for a driver’s license at a Department of Land Transport (DLT) office in order to avoid being duped by scammers.
The DLT says that to apply for a driver’s license, the applicant must attend one of its offices to submit the application in person.
The applicant will be required to submit the necessary documents, including photographs, as well as pass a physical, written and driving test.
The warning comes following an increase in incidents where scammers claim to be able to obtain a driver’s license without the need to undergo the testing or examinations required to be granted a license in Thailand.
Scammers have been duping motorists with adverts online and on social media that claim they can obtain a license without training or even needing to attend a DLT office.
The scammers say they can obtain a license for between 2,000 baht and 12,000 baht depending on the vehicle.
By comparison the actual fee charged by the DLT for a driver’s license in Thailand is 205 baht for a car and 105 baht for a motorcycle.
The scammers then set up a Line account where they ask the motorist to supply them with personal information such as a photo of their ID card or passport, address and photographs to support their application. They even sometimes call the victim claiming to be an officer from the DLT in order to obtain more personal information.
Thinking the service is legitimate, the victim transfers the money in full to the scammer, who is not to be heard from again.
There is also another version of the scam, the DLT warned, whereby victims are sent counterfeit licenses, the use of which in Thailand is a criminal offense.
The DLT also warned that by sharing personal information, victims are potentially leaving themselves vulnerable to identity theft, which in turn could see their data used to commit other crimes or to borrow money illegally.
The DLT says it is in the process of gathering evidence in order to bring a lawsuit against people it has identified as being responsible for some of the scams. The hope is that the prospect of serious legal action will help to deter others from running such scams.
People in Thailand can use the new DLT Smart Queue application to book an appointment with a DLT office for both new driver’s license applications and renewals.
The app enables people to choose their nearest DLT office, selecting a time and date which is convenient for them.