In a concerning trend, a recent study conducted by a graduate student at Korea University has shed light on a surge in South Korean crypto scams targeting young women via social media platforms. The study reveals that 71% of “romance scam victims” in 2022 will be women, especially those aged 39 and under. This scam relies heavily on cryptocurrencies, counterfeit coins and deceptive trading platforms.
Rise of South Korean Crypto Scams :
According to research, the majority of romance scams (63%) exploit cryptocurrency, fake foreign exchange transfers, and fraudulent token trading platforms. Instagram is emerging as the platform of choice for cheaters, but dating apps like WIPPY and Tinder are also playing a role. Surprisingly, scammers extract nearly half a million USD worth of fiat and crypto per month from their victims, though the actual amount could be higher due to underreporting of cases. This worrying trend has prompted the authorities to take action against these crypto-related scams.
Government Response and Law Enforcement Efforts:
Recognizing the gravity of the situation, South Korean law enforcement agencies have set up a special department to combat crypto fraud and are investing in specialized training for officers. These proactive measures aim to improve their ability to identify and catch fraudsters operating in the cryptocurrency space. By doing so, the authorities hope to reduce the financial loss and emotional distress of the victims.
Common Techniques Used by Scammers:
This study identifies some of the common methods used by romance cheaters. One tactic involves enticing victims to help exchange cryptocurrencies or fiat via fake platforms. Another sneaky approach targets young women, convincing them that investing in fake altcoins is an easy way to make a quick buck. Some scammers exploit victims by claiming urgent medical expenses or pretending to be stranded abroad, demanding funds to be returned home. In a disturbing development, scammers have even started luring dating app users to fake crypto mining platforms, as Uppsala Security has highlighted.
As South Korea grapples with the rise of crypto scams targeting young women on social media platforms, authorities are taking proactive steps to counter this growing threat. Law enforcement aims to dismantle these fraudulent operations and protect potential victims by establishing specialized departments and providing comprehensive training. Raising awareness about these scams and promoting digital literacy among the public can create a safer online environment.