SK offering \3M to phishing victims

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SK offering \3M to phishing victims

SK Telecom, a leading mobile service provider, is offering an insurance policy that pays up to 3 million won ($2,572) in compensation to its buyers who have fallen victim to ever-more-common phishing crimes.

The policy, the first of its kind in Korea, also covers people who have suffered financial damage from voice and instant messenger phishing as well as stolen credit cards for a monthly fee of 990 won in addition to the phone bill. Should a subscriber file a lawsuit to recover damage, the insurance pays 1 million won at the maximum, said SK Telecom in a press release. Phishing is a type of fraud when people receive calls or messages telling them to send money. The fraudsters impersonate friends or relatives.

“We came up with the product because financial scams via cell phones have been rising, but there has been no service from carriers that helped customers make up their losses,” it said.

What’s notable about the product is that it also covers the parents of the subscriber. SKT said it hopes the coverage will protect older people, who are generally more easily fooled by scammers.

The number of phishing crimes reported to the police totaled 8,244 last year, up 51 percent from a year earlier, and the financial damage tallied over 109.9 billion won, up 84 percent on year.

By Seo Ji-eun[spring@joongang.co.kr]

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