Large phishing ring detected in China
By Kim Rahn
A massive voice phishing ring which included 51 Korean members, has been busted in China.
The Chinese Ministry of Public Security said Friday they apprehended 235 members of the voice phishing ring operating in five provinces including Liaoning, Jilin and Shandong.
The ring made more than 1,200 calls and raked in some 100 million yuan ($15 million), according to the ministry, which added they found lists of phone numbers and credit card details written in Korean.
The group hired people fluent in Korean, who called numbers in Korea at random. Pretending to be police officers or prosecutors, they claimed that the victims’ bank accounts had been used in crimes or for money laundering, asked for their bank information, and then took money from the accounts.
The victims were deceived because the numbers the callers used were identical to those of police agencies or prosecutors’ offices in Korea.
“As we are strengthening the investigation into voice phishing in China, such crime rings are moving their bases to Taiwan or Thailand,” a South Korean official said.
As voice phishing from overseas is increasing, the government is planning new countermeasures.
The Korea Communications Commission seeks to make a database of phone numbers of the nation’s all public agencies such as the prosecution, police and post office, and automatically cut calls made from other countries with those numbers.
For every call made outside of Korea, it also plans to put a specific digit at the beginning of the caller’s number, so that people can easily distinguish whether the call is made in or outside of the country.
There were 8,244 voice phishing cases last year, up from 1,400 in 2006. Victims suffered from more than 100 billion won in losses, according to the Financial Supervisory Service.