Response center opens to aid phishing victims in one phone call

By Kuksung Nam, The Readable
Jul. 6, 2023 8:07PM GMT+9 Updated Jul. 7, 2023 12:42PM GMT+9

Telephone scam victims may be able to act in response to their suffering in a single phone call later this month, according to the Korean National Police Agency on Thursday.

The South Korean police stated that the integrated response and report center on phone scams will open on July 20. After going through the trial run for two months, the center will officially start to assist those who were tricked into sending money to cybercriminals.

The center was started as a presidential campaign to tackle phone scam related crimes. President Yoon Suk-yeol pledged to integrate the reporting system into a single phone call which would later be dealt with through an independent organization. The center will bring together under one roof officials from several government agencies, including the Korea Communications Commission, the Ministry of Science and ICT, the Financial Supervisory Service, and the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA).

South Koreans had to call each organization to get the information they needed, making it difficult for them to act swiftly against cybercriminals. Although the number of phone scam cases decreased from 2021 to 2023, South Korean police stated that there is a growth in the monetary damage caused by bad actors posing as law enforcement officials. According to their findings, 93 billion won (almost $71 million) were transferred to phone scammers from January to May of this year. In the same period last year, the damage was 81 billion won ($62 million).

The cover image of this article was designed by Areum Hwang.

Kuksung Nam is a journalist for The Readable. She has extensively traversed the globe to cover the latest stories on the cyber threat landscape and has been producing in-depth stories on security and privacy by engaging with industry giants, foreign government officials and experts. Before joining The Readable, Kuksung reported on politics for one of South Korea’s top-five local newspapers, The Kyeongin Ilbo. Her journalistic skills and reportage earned her the coveted Journalists Association of Korea award in 2021 for her essay detailing exclusive stories about the misconduct of a former government official. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in French from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, a testament to her linguistic capabilities.