Scammers on phones get more devious, offering loans

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Scammers on phones get more devious, offering loans

As measures to combat voice phishing got tougher, criminals became smarter and more devious.

Some phishing loan sharks are calling random individuals and telling them they are eligible to borrow money, but have to pay some of the interest up front in order to get the loan. Then they run away with the money paid.

Some go so far as to tell people that their credit rating is just a little to low to get the loan, but it can be raised above the necessary threshold with a payment of processing fees. Then they run away with those payments.

The scammers tend to target people who already have large amount of debt to pay back and people with low credit ratings.

The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) said these new types of phishing have increased rapidly, accounting for 66.5 percent of the total voice phishing crimes that occurred between January and February. Some 14.1 billion won ($12.2 million) was transferred to scammers during that period.

The total amount of losses from voice phishing in the first two months of this year was 21.2 billion won. Crimes committed by fraudsters pretending to work for government-related offices fell from 60 percent last year to 30 percent.

To combat voice phishing, the FSS released phone call voice records used in such cases on its website.


BY KIM YOUNG-NAM [kim.youngnam@joongang.co.kr]

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