Nearly 50,000 people were victims of phone financial scams last year, amounting to 444 billion won ($396.78 million) in lost money, regulator data showed Thursday.
The amount of money lost to scams increased 82.7 percent from 2017 as people fell victim to phone calls coaxing them to reveal their passwords and other security information on their financial accounts, a crime known as "voice phishing."
Data from the Financial Supervisory Service said 48,643 people were conned last year, an average of 134 people daily. The amount of money involved in the frauds averaged 9.1 million won a day. The regulator said 60,933 financial accounts were used for the scams, up 33.9 percent from last year.
About 70 percent of the frauds targeted people with urgent needs for cash, luring them with promises of low loan interest rates, according to the regulator. Mobile phone applications for borrowers were also being abused for phishing, it said. (Yonhap)