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Voice Phishing Scams

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[Anchor Lead]Korean parents whose children are studying in the U.S. are often targeted by voice phishing scams. Here’s what happens, and what to look out for. [Pkg]On March 20th, a parent whose daughter is studying in Los Angeles received a threatening phone call. The caller claimed that the daughter had been kidnapped and demanded a ransom. A young woman could be heard sobbing over the phone. The parent, living in Seoul, immediately rang up the daughter but she didn't receive answer. The incident was reported to the Foreign Ministry's consular call center, which assured the parent within 2 hours that the daughter was safe. Another parent whose daughter studies in New York went through a similar ordeal. The parent notified police and was able to get a hold of the daughter over the phone within an hour of receiving the threatening call. Multiple parents whose children are studying in the U.S. have suffered similar voice phishing scams in recent days. The crimes are perpetrated usually when it is late at night in the States, and the children are not likely to pick up their phones. Parents in Korea are often not keenly aware of the contact information for their children's residence abroad.[Soundbite] Consul Kim Bo-jun(Korean Consulate General, LA) : "It's important for the parents to know not only Their children's mobile phone number but also their residence address and contact number of the dormitory manager."The Korean consulate generals in LA and New York have alerted local Korean residents and students, advising them to report to police and the consular call center immediately if they receive such threats over the phone.


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