Voice Phishing Scams Learn to Use a Seoul Accent

For Koreans, a phone call from an unknown number and a Chinese accent immediately raises suspicion that they are about to be scammed. In recent years, Yanbian, a province in northern China adjacent to North Korea and home to nearly three quarters of a million ethnic Koreans, has become known as the home to elaborate voice phishing scams. In voice phishing, a caller will imitate a bank, police officer, or other official who needs to find out someone’s bank account information to trick the target into giving them money. A news report about a phishing scam where the victim was fooled by a caller’s fluent Seoul accent has raised the alarm once again.

The image of a Yanbian Chinese-Korean scammer has become so popular that it was even featured as a sketch on the most popular Korean comedy show, “Gag-Concert”.

While many netizens ridiculed anyone who would give their bank information to a stranger over the phone, many scams prey on Koreans’ suspicion of the government and powerful organizations and their desire to help their family. Such scammers will threaten a family member and demand payment. On July 16th, the Korean legislature revised a bill to increase protections against voice phishing fraud.

Article from Herald Economy:

No More Voice Phishing with Yanbian Accent, Now with Seoul Accent

by Seo Sang-beom

What comes to mind when you hear the words “Voice Phishing”? Don’t assume it is said in an Chinese-Korean accent. Now, after a con artist speaking in a Seoul accent began cheating people and taking their money by impersonating a government prosecutor, the police have launched an investigation.

According to police in the district of Gangnam, on July 15th, they began an investigation after getting a report from a victim about voice phishing fraud that cost her close to ten million won (about $8,936).

The victim was an ordinary business woman in her thirties who received a call on July 1st from the scammer, a man who claimed to be an employee of the Pusan District Prosecutor’s office. He said that a group of criminals had stolen her personal information to open a bank account, so he had to investigate her and find out whether she was one of their accomplices. It sounded plausible.

Then, he lied to her that she needed to have about ten million won in her bank account in order to check how she had withdrawn and deposited cash. She responded by depositing the same amount of money he requested into the account via a cash advance from her credit card and a bank loan.

Afterward, the scammer sent her a link to a fake website which imitated the look of the real bank website, where she put her personal information and the serial number of her security card. Through this site, the scammer was able to get all of her bank information.

From impersonating a prosecutor to giving the fake Internet site, so called “Pharming”, all such tactics are widely known to the public. But the scammer still managed to get ten million won easily and without being caught.

You are no exception! (Voice Phishing Prevention Campaign)

You are no exception! (Voice Phishing Prevention Campaign)

She said that she didn’t think to doubt the caller because his accent was typical of Seoul and after she called back to the same number he gave her, she found that it was correctly from the Pusan District Prosecutor’s Office.

According to a police official, “Don’t assume that voice phishing scammers will have a Yanbian accent. Please be careful.”

Comments from Nate:


I always hang up when the number begins with an unfamiliar area code. kekekekeke


Hey, stupid! No matter who is a prosecutor or a police officer, no one asks you to send money to an account. I think anyone who is cheated is stupid. Why didn’t you try to check his name and his department? If you did, the truth would easily come out. kekekekeke


In my case, when I got a call from someone impersonating a prosecutor, I asked him what the name of the former chief prosecutor was. Jang-gae hung up the phone without a word…


I am concerned that we could be deceived because the fraud has no Chinese-Korean accent any more. Prepare measures as quickly as possible for elderly people and children.


I think the accents of Chinese-Koreans and Gyeongsang-do are similar. Just one word from either of them is enough for me to know they are jaesu-opso cheaters.


How about using the application named “What Is This Number?”? .. When you get a call, this app lets you know information about the number, like whether it has been reported as a spammer. Also, as the word like credit card or new insurance pops up, it helps you to decide whether you want to receive the call.


I hang up as soon as I hear, “Hello, customer.”


Damn, why do you guys always swear on comments? Please stop it. Those who were cheated already feel horrible.

Over the phone, the words like credit card, insurance premium, and kidnapping can frighten you into sending money.

Over the phone, the words like credit card, insurance premium, and kidnapping can frighten you into sending money.


Aha, it was you! You said you would have to call me back later as soon as I told you I only have thirty thousand won in my account. ke ke ke


Fuck, hey Chinese-Koreans! Stop watching Gag-Concert.

nate**** :

What if Chinese-Koreans had babies in Korea and they grew up to look Korean on the outside while still committing voice phishing fraud? Damn..


kekekekeke Are you still getting fooled by these tricks? Stupid..


I could have been phished a couple days ago. The Naver site showed up, but I didn’t realize it was a pop-up page, which said that my personal information on Auction was leaked online, linked with a bank website. So I clicked the site and it requested me to put in my bank password and security number. I felt uneasy, so I closed the page and opened it again. But Naver worked normally as usual…be careful.

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