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S. Korean celebrities call for action from major social media platforms against online phishing scams

March 22, 2024 - 19:00 By Yonhap

A group of South Korean TV celebrities and media personalities on Friday called on major social media platforms, including YouTube, to take action against increasing online phishing scams exploiting their identities.

"Since last year, phishing scam organizations have been targeting famous or influential figures, such as former presidents, the leader of a conglomerate, entertainers and YouTubers, on Facebook and Instagram," a joint statement released by a coalition of more than 130 people, including comedians, YouTubers and financial figures, said.

"But it has turned out that the world's best platform companies with cutting-edge technologies have no system to filter out fraudulent advertisements in advance."

Citing data from police, they said more than 1,000 cases of damage worth some 120 billion won ($89.7 million) have been reported involving financial investment advice between September and December last year.

To prevent such crimes, they demanded global social media platforms, such as YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, as well as local platform companies, including Naver Corp. and Kakao Corp., implement systems to proactively detect and block faulty commercials in advance.

They also called on the South Korea government to set up an investigation team dedicated to combating online phishing scams.

"Keeping our platforms safe is a top priority at Google," a spokesperson at Google, which operates YouTube, said on condition of anonymity. "We have strict policies in place to prohibit them and our dedicated team works around the clock to enforce these policies at scale, taking decisive action against the scammers, including removing violative ads and suspending the corresponding advertiser accounts."

Meta Platforms Inc., which operates Facebook and Instagram, also said it will continue its efforts to create a safe and credible environment for its platforms. (Yonhap)