According to a recent study, there has been a significant increase in crypto crimes in South Korea. In particular, there has been a spike in South Korean crypto scams that target young women on social media platforms.
As per local media reports, the study revealed that 71% of “romance scam victims” ensnared via social media in 2022 were women. The vast majority of these women were “aged 39 or below.” Additionally, almost 63% of these “romance scams” made use of crypto, fake coins, fake foreign exchange transfers, or bogus token trading platforms. Typical “romance scam” crypto fraud methods include “asking victims to help” exchange coins or fiat using bogus platforms.
The data revealed in the study was compiled by a postgraduate student at a Korean university, data to which was collected from recent police reports. The study showed that the most scammers leveraged technologies like social media, mostly Instagram to attract victims. However, Instagram hasn’t been the only channel, many scammers are also making use of dating apps like WIPPY (14%) and Tinder (7%).
Further, the study found that social media-based scammers are currently making off with almost half a million USD worth of fiat and crypto a month. However, this figure does not take into account scams that go unreported.
Sources reveal that the study examined data from 280 cases reported to police agencies in the first half of 2022. However, the Korean police appear concerned that crypto-related scams are on the rise in the country. To combat this, they have responded by forming special crypto scam-fighting departments and investing in crypto-specific training for officers.
Among other patterns, another common one is where other fraudsters attempt to dupe young, predominantly female victims by convincing them that they can earn easy money by investing in bogus altcoins. Some even attempt to fool victims by claiming they need money to pay for medical costs. Others claim to be marooned overseas and in urgent need of funds.
Earlier this year, the regulation technology developer and security provider Uppsala Security claimed that South Korean scammers are now trying to lure the users of dating apps onto fake crypto mining platforms. The increasing crimes in South Korea has been a nightmare for the authorities and investors alike.
Few days back, Todayq News reported that South Korean authorities were startled by a gruesome murder of a Korean citizen involving digital assets. Reportedly, a Korean woman was abducted on March 29 and later murdered in a dispute which is believed to have stemmed from a disagreement over cryptocurrency-related losses.
Following the incident, the Korean lawmakers decided to expedite the nation’s first standalone crypto bill, which could be passed in a parliamentary vote soon. The new bill aims to grant the country’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) the power to oversee crypto companies and custody of assets.
Simultaneously, the Bank of Korea (BoK) is making efforts to ensure ample investors’ protection in regard to virtual assets. The central bank has been given the power to investigate cryptocurrency-related businesses and request transaction data from crypto exchanges.