Seoul, July 13 (Korea Bizwire) – Who do you think are the main victims of voice phishing? You would be very wrong if you thought the elderly were most susceptible to being deceived.
The younger demographic tend to be the main targets of tele-financial fraud, if anything, and they also tend to be the offenders. People in their 20s and 30s who have money saved up are often the victims, and those with financial difficulties are engaging in the crime.
When the National Police Agency analyzed the 3,463 voice phishing crimes that were committed between March 29 and June 25, the portion of victims in their 20s was the highest at 32.9 percent, followed by those in their 30s at 24.2 percent. Combined, they made up the majority of voice phishing victims (57.1%). In contrast, there were significantly fewer older victims, with those in their 40s coming in at 13.3 percent; in their 50s, 14.1 percent; 60s, 18.4 percent and 70s, 15.5 percent.
Compared to last year, the number of victims in their 20s and 30s has increased drastically. Victims in their 20s almost doubled in number from 18.8 percent last year to 32.9 percent this year, and the portion of people in their 30s also grew from 19.5 percent to 24.2 percent. In comparison, the portion of victims in their 60s showed a sharp decline from 33.3 percent last year to 14.3 percent this year.
The jump in the number of voice phishing victims among the younger demographic is thought to be the result of changes in the way criminals are operating.
Victims are often lured to fake phishing web sites. There, the victim’s personal information is collected. With that information, the ‘withdrawer’ takes out money from the victim’s bank account using Internet banking.
In order to fall for this method, the victim has to know how to use the Internet, thereby making people in their 20s and 30s particularly vulnerable to the crime. Young women are the often the main targets.
Police officials say, “To the offenders, women in their 20s and 30s have saved up for marriage or other purposes, and also know how to use the internet, making them ‘efficient victims’. Also, compared to men of that age, they have little knowledge and experience related to investigative agencies and how they work, making them easier to fool.”
On the other hand, people in their 20s and 30s are also the ones that participate in committing the crimes most frequently.
According to an analysis of 484 voice phishing ‘withdrawers’ arrested from March 29 to June 25 conducted by the National Police Agency, 45 percent were in their 20s, and 30.2 percent were in their 30s. At around 75 percent, the significant majority of the offenders were in the 20 to 39 demographic.
Why are these young people being pushed towards crime? Analysis of the data showed that 83.2 percent of the offenders arrested were jobless. Half were introduced to the schemes through classified advertisements on the Internet (20.7%), or were introduced by an acquaintance (29.8%).
Officials from Seodaemun Police Station in Seoul explain by giving us an example. Kim, a 27-year-old male without a job, called a company after seeing an ad saying ‘earn 200,000 won a day’ in the classifieds section.
The ad said that Kim would complete wire transfers and other banking tasks, but when he started to work, he realized that he was withdrawing money with a debit card provided by an unknown man. Kim was uncertain that he was withdrawing the profits of Sportstoto as the company told him, but kept doing the job since it was good money. He was caught after 3 days, but others who are not caught usually introduce the job to friends and acquaintances.
Police officials say, “Many classified ads are attracting young people. Some continue the job even when they know what they’re doing is illegal because it is easy money and the pay is good.”
by Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)