Home Blockchain S. Korean Crypto Voice Phishing Attacks Get More Sophisticated

S. Korean Crypto Voice Phishing Attacks Get More Sophisticated

S. Korean Crypto Voice Phishing Attacks Get More Sophisticated

Tim Alper

Last updated:

| 3 min read

South Korean Crypto Voice Phishing Attacks Becoming More Sophisticated – Report

South Korean crypto voice phishing attackers are developing more sophisticated ways to dupe victims out of cash and tokens, a report claimed on April 4.

Per the newspaper Segye Ilbo, most attackers are now pushing their victims onto bogus crypto exchanges designed to look like bona fide platforms.

South Korean Crypto Voice Phishing Crime on Rise?

The media outlet reported that attackers are now targeting credit card users and the victims of crypto scams.

Some are also posing as employees at major financial regulators in a bid to win victims’ trust, and guide them onto fake crypto exchanges.

Segye Ilbo detailed the case of a citizen “in their thirties” referred to as A.

A received a text message on their mobile phone that appeared to be from their bank. This message included details of a credit card payment A had never made.

Concerned, A called the telephone number included in the text message to enquire about the payment.

The person who answered the phone said that the text originated from a shopping center’s customer service department.

This same person told A that their card details may have been stolen if they did not recognize the payment.

And the “shopping center’s customer service employee” advised A to speak to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) “to confirm” details of the case.

The FSS is one of South Korea’s two top financial regulators.

The headquarters of the Financial Supervisory Service in Seoul, South Korea.
The headquarters of the Financial Supervisory Service in Seoul, South Korea. (Source: Wikiwater2020 [CC BY-SA 3.0])

Shortly after, A received a phone call from a person claiming to be “an FSS employee.”

This person instructed A to install an app on their smartphone. Doing so, the “employee” said, would help the prosecution officials track further transactions on the “stolen credit card.”

A, the “FSS employee” said, should now call local prosecutors to report details of the case and resolve the matter.

However, this app was, in fact, a piece of software that diverts calls to developers’ numbers. As such, when A called their local prosecution service, another fraudster answered the phone.

Posing as a member of the prosecution service, this fraudster told A that they needed to buy coins from a crypto exchange to “prove [they were] the victim of a scam.”

A proceeded to do as instructed, buying over $41,370 worth of cryptoassets. The “prosecutor” then instructed A to send the tokens to a crypto wallet on a domestic crypto exchange platform.

Eventually, A realized they had fallen victim to a scam. A attempted to enlist the help of a lawyer to retrieve the funds from the criminals’ wallet.

This legal bid appears to have failed, however, as the fraudsters had already withdrawn the tokens from the platform in question.

Crypto Scam Victims Also Targets?

Segye Ilbo also detailed the case of a man in his twenties referred to as “C.”

The media outlet explained that last year, C received a call from a person claiming to be an employee of a firm named D Investment.

The caller said that they were aware C had paid over $1,100 to join a private, crypto-themed social media “reading room” channel in 2021.

The operators of the “reading room” had promised to give members insider tips on trading. But the “room” had proved to be bogus.

“D Investment” told C that it was trying to help members of the “room” receive refunds and access a “real” reading room.

C accepted. He then joined a room where members talked enthusiastically about a crypto exchange named Ebit.

The members of this new room convinced C to invest over $83,000 in crypto futures at Ebit.

It was only when C later tried to withdraw funds that he realized that Ebit was actually a bogus exchange, and that he had transferred his money to a fraudster’s bank account.

Instances of South Korean crypto voice phishing are rising fast, police spokespeople have confirmed this year.

Last month, a female South Korean civil servant was arrested on charges of carrying out crypto-related voice phishing.

Police said they suspected the woman may have used information she learned from her public duties to identify possible victims.

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