SEOUL, Korea, Mar 17, 2014 (Korea Bizwire) – Amid the massive leak of personal information from credit card companies and mobile telecom service providers recently, the cases of voice phishing originating from overseas are also on the rise.
For two months in January and February this year alone, the number of phone calls blocked for suspicion of fraudulent intent was 215,000. In addition, the instances of smishing, or SMS phishing, were 557,000 during the same period. Congressman Lee Sang-il (New Frontier Party) said this on March 14, based on data submitted by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.
Of the overseas voice phishing cases, 92.2 percent, or 199,022 cases, consisted of those impersonating someone from a bank or any other financial institution. The remaining 7.7 percent (16,795 cases) were blocked for assuming a false name from government offices such as the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, the National Police Agency, and the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office.
The most favorite bank for the perpetrators was Kookmin Bank with 109,500 cases, followed by Industrial Bank of Korea (71,176), Chinae Savings Bank (13,860), and Shinhan Bank (2,434). The government office that became the most favored target was the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (6,965 cases), followed by the National Police Agency (3,360), and the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office (2,545).
If any of the mobile telecom service operators wants to block phone numbers for suspicion of voice phishing or smishing, it can do so by requesting a list of overseas phone numbers from the state-run Korea Internet & Security Agency.
For the past two months this year, the agency has blocked a total of 557,000 phone numbers for sending out smishing messages. Of these, Shinhan Card was the financial service provider that SMS phishing senders used most frequently (1,957 cases).