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'Face-to-face phishing' on rise: police

By Yonhap
Published : Nov 17, 2021 - 13:35
Updated : Nov 17, 2021 - 13:35

This illustrated image depicts voice phishing. (Yonhap)

Voice phishing scammers are getting increasingly bold lately as many of them prefer to directly meet fraud victims to extort money, the National Police Agency (NPA) said Wednesday, releasing the results of its recent crackdowns.

The NPA said its wholesale crackdowns on voice phishing criminals, conducted for eight months this year between February and June, and between August and October, netted 19,634 roundups, of which 1,845 suspects were put under arrest.

By type of phishing crimes busted by October, the number of money transfer scams, in which victims are tricked into sending money from their bank accounts, totaled 3,078 cases, down 69 percent from the same period of last year.

In contrast, however, the so-called "face-to-face phishing" surged 77.7 percent on-year to 19,630 cases, the NPA noted.

Face-to-face phishing mostly occurs when scammers impersonating financial institution employees deceive victims into repaying existing loans in cash or victims are forced into a car by scammers impersonating investigators and deprived of money on the spot.

The NPA said it has focused on the arrests of criminal gang members, such as face-to-face defrauders, in consideration of the changing methods of voice phishing, adding 14,980 criminal gang members were apprehended in this year's crackdowns, up 26.2 percent from last year. (Yonhap)

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