The number of “voice phishing” scams has greatly increased, with most cases preying on ordinary people seeking emergency funds. South Korea reported nearly 100,000 cases of voice phishing scams and 1 trillion won (US$897.67 million) of damages for four years and six months between 2014 and June this year.
According to the data of “the current voice phishing scam status after 2014” submitted by the Korea Police Agency to Rep. Lee Jae-jung of the Democratic Party on the Public Administration and Security Committee of the National Assembly, the number of voice phishing scams in the first half of this year came to 16,338 and the damages reached 179.6 billion won (US$161.22 million). The figures increased 5,712 and 74.5 billion won (US$66.88 million) from 10,626 and 105.1 billion won (US$94.34 million) at the same period last year. When the current trend continues, the damages are expected to surpass 300 billion won (US$269.3 million) for the first time this year.
In particular, the number of fake loan call cases surged by more than 5,000 from 8,069 at the first half of last year to 13,159 at the first half of this year. Its damages also grew by a whopping 82.5 percent from 62.9 billion won (US$56.46 million) to 114.8 billion won (US$103.05 million) over the same period.
The number of cases related to calls from someone claiming to be an employee of a government-owned corporation increased 24.3 percent from 2,557 to 3,179, while its damages rose 53.5 percent from 42.2 billion won (US$37.88 million) to 64.8 billion won (US$58.17 million). The number of fake loan call cases was almost four times higher than that of the cases impersonating an employee of government agencies and its damages is nearly two times higher.