A Seoul court sentenced a Taiwanese man to a one-year prison term for swindling money from a Korean family through a fake kidnapping telephone scam, court officials said Monday.
The 31-year-old defendant, whose name was withheld, had been indicted on charges of receiving 2 million won ($1,800) in July of last year from Korean parents by claiming their son had been kidnapped with a fake voice of a boy screaming through the telephone.
It took only nine minutes for the scammer to withdraw the money from a bank account opened under another person’s name, after the embarrassed father, surnamed Yoon, immediately sent ransom money, court documents showed.
Voice phishing involves random phone calls made to dupe victims to send money to fraudulent accounts. Callers, often traced to networks in China, pose as police or bank officials, or sometimes demand ransom claiming they are holding a family member hostage.
The damage from phone fraud has reached over 200 billion won ($179 million) over the last three years, according to government data.