23 May 2024

An online job listing has gone viral in Thailand this week. It features a man seeking to hire a social companion, who has tested positive for COVID-19, in a deliberate attempt to get infected.

The listing, apparently written by a broker, indicated that the client is offering ฿3,000 to ฿5,000 to a suitably qualified drinking companion.

“COVID-positive only. The client wants to catch the coronavirus,” read the listing.

It is believed that the “client” plans to take advantage of a popular COVID-19 health insurance plan in Thailand.

When the coronavirus hit the country two years ago, many insurance companies offered various policies that paid out an amount of money just for getting infected. The compensation could be as much as ฿200,000.

The Office of the Insurance Commission (OIC) addressed this issue on Wednesday, saying it is against the law and is considered to be insurance fraud.

An insurance claim can be denied in such a case, warned the OIC.

An investigation has been launched. The client has already been identified and he does have a COVID-19 insurance plan.

The man has yet to be charged with fraud. The maximum penalty is three years in prison and/or a maximum fine of ฿300,000.