Damages from phishing scams jump over 35% on-year in 2023

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Damages from phishing scams jumped from a year earlier in 2023 despite growing awareness of the crime, data showed Thursday.

The amount of damages from phishing crimes came to 196.5 billion won ($147.7 million) last year, up 35.4 percent from 145.1 billion won in 2022, according to the data from the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).

The number of people that fell victim to the crime dropped 10.2 percent to 11,503 from 12,816 over the cited period.

Phishing is a type of crime where victims are conned into transferring money to scammers or sharing their personal information, thus allowing fraudsters to access their bank accounts.

“The total number of victims dropped amid continued efforts by the government and financial institutions to prevent phishing scams, but the number of high-amount victims rose from a year earlier,” the financial regulator said.

It added the number of people suffering more than 100 million won in damages jumped nearly 70 percent on-year to 95 last year, with the number of victims with 10 million won or more in damages also surging 29.3 percent to 1,053.

Damages to young people also jumped sharply from a year earlier in 2023, according to the FSS.

Damages suffered by people aged 50 years or older came to 114 billion won, or 65.4 percent of the total, last year, down from 79.8 percent in 2022.

However, the amount of damages suffered by people aged less than 40 years jumped sharply from 14.5 billion won in 2022 to 41.9 billion won last year, accounting for 21.7 percent of total damages, it said.

Of the total 196.5 billion won in damages, 65.2 billion won, or 33.2 percent, was returned to victims in 2023. The figures compare with 37.9 billion won, or 26.1 percent of the total, the previous year. (Yonhap)

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