Phishing scam uses nude chats for blackmailing

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Phishing scam uses nude chats for blackmailing

A local group working with a Chinese voice phishing-blackmail gang was busted by police. The phishers persuaded men to send them nude photos and videos and then threatened to expose them to their wives or relatives.

The Gwangjin Police Precinct announced Friday that it arrested a 22-year-old man surnamed Kang for transferring extorted money to the Chinese phishing group after taking a 10 percent cut. Eight accomplices, including a 23-year-old woman surnamed Park, were indicted without detention.

Nearly 400 victims lost a total of about 170 million won ($142,800), according to the Gwangjin police.

“Body cam” phishing is a new type of a scam. The phishers in China approached men via mobile chat applications pretending to be women and asked them to video chat. They recorded their nude videos. The phishing group also sent nude photos of women via the chat app that uploaded malware on the receiver’s smartphone and gained access to their contacts book.

Then the phishers threatened to send the nude video to friends and relatives if the man didn’t send money.

A simpler technique was that the phishers pretended to be arranging sexual services by prostitutes and had the men pay in advance.

As soon as the victims sent money to certain accounts in Korea, Kang and his gang remitted it to China.

According to Gwangjin police, Kang first joined the business in April 2013 to earn pocket money, but soon got caught by police. A court gave him probation in November 2013. But then he had trouble earning a living, and got back in touch with the Chinese phishing group last August. This time, he decided to organize the process more systematically by bringing in his friends and even cousins.

Last November, Kang and his cousin visited the Chinese group’s office in Guangzhou. The group’s leader paid for their hotel and gave them liquor.

Kang was caught by the police last Monday.

According to the police, more than 400 victims lost money to the gang but only 10 people reported it to the police.

“Most of the victims didn’t report the damage because they were worried they may face charges over attempts to buy a prostitute,” said a police spokesman.

BY YUN JUNG-MIN [kim.jiyoon@joongang.co.kr]

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