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Cost of phone phishing scams hikes 65 pct on-year: police data

2018/05/16 12:00

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SEOUL, May 16 (Yonhap) -- Financial losses from phishing scams in South Korea soared 64.7 percent on year in the first four months of this year, as more cases involving fake lower-rate loans have been reported, police data showed Wednesday.

The losses came to 118.4 billion won (US$196.8 million) incurred from 11,196 cases in the January-April period, compared with 71.9 billion won from 7,172 cases reported in the same period last year, according to the National Police Agency.

The bulk of the cases were related to loan scams, in which imposters approached victims posing as officials from financial firms and offered to extend them loans at lower interest rates.

They lured victims into making large deposits upfront to repay some of the existing debt in advance.

Other ruses included impersonating government officials, such as those from the prosecution or financial watchdogs. They conned victims by telling them their bank accounts have been breached and that they needed to secure their savings in a different account.

Police noted that large proportion of victims were men aged between 40 and 50 and women aged between 20 and 30, belying the general perception that victims are mostly elderly people.

This image illustrates phishing scams. (Yonhap) This image illustrates phishing scams. (Yonhap)

elly@yna.co.kr

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