Thai police are hunting a YouTube dancer nicknamed “Nutty”, who swindled millions of dollars from her followers using a foreign exchange trading scam, authorities said Wednesday.
Natthamon Khongchak, 29, who also uses the aliases Leah and Suchata, has a following of nearly 850,000 on the video-sharing platform.
Local media reported there could be up to 6,000 victims who lost up to $55 million after being promised 35 percent investment returns.
So far 102 victims have filed complaints to authorities totalling 30 million baht ($825,000), said Thailand’s Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau deputy superintendent of investigations Wattana Ketumpai.
Police allege that Nutty advertised her personal wealth on social media platforms to dupe victims into thinking that she got rich quick from foreign exchange trading.
“This scam is similar to other Ponzi schemes, but the differences are public relations and deceptive methods,” Wattana said.
“There could be more complaints (from victims) in the future.”
He said some victims started filing complaints from early 2021.
Police are compiling evidence to press charges for fraud, computer crime and obtaining loans by deception, Wattana said.
A Bangkok court issued a warrant for Nutty’s arrest earlier this month.
There are some reports that she has fled Thailand for Malaysia, but Wattana said that, according to immigration records, she remained in the kingdom, though her whereabouts were unknown.
Her YouTube and Instagram accounts are filled with dance and music videos.
In her last Instagram post from May 25, she apologised to the victims and promised to pay the money back.
“I’m sorry that I have troubled and disappointed many people,” she said.
“I want to apologise for this incident from the bottom of my heart.”
AFP contacted Nutty for comment but she has not responded.
© Agence France-Presse