Seoul Police to Establish Phishing Investigation Division Amid Rising Crime Rates

SEOUL — In response to the escalating challenge of phishing crimes, the Seoul Police will create a dedicated investigation division, aiming to enhance the fight against the growing sophistication of such attacks. The announcement came from the National Police Agency during a comprehensive government meeting focused on combating voice phishing. The meeting highlighted the alarming increase in the volume and variety of phishing crimes across the country.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the new division will be an integral part of the National Office of Investigation, which serves as the investigative arm of the police. This move consolidates the responsibility of voice phishing investigations, previously managed by economic and cyber crime units, under one specialized division. The initiative follows the arrest of 22,386 phishing offenders last year, a period which also saw phishing scams causing financial damage totaling approximately 447.2 billion won (US$337 million).

The establishment of this division is backed by a significant increase in budget allocation, rising to 1.74 billion won this year from the previous year's funding for similar investigations. A notable feature of the division's strategy includes the operation of a phishing crime warning system, designed to alert individuals through text messages about potential voice phishing threats immediately after receiving calls from previously identified suspicious numbers.

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