Team leader Kim Mi-Young escapes from jail, is a first-generation voice phishing ex-police officer

It was recently revealed that Mr. Park Mo, 53, the alleged founder of the voicemail scam, has escaped from prison in the Philippines. According to information provided by South Korea’s Foreign Ministry and National Police Agency, Park escaped from a prison in the Bicol region of the southeastern Philippine island of Luzon late last month. He is believed to have escaped while being transported to prison after his appearance in court.

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Mr. Park established a call center in the Philippines in 2011 and has been leading voice phishing efforts for nearly a decade. His organization used a scheme in which he claimed to be “Team Leader Kim Mi-young” and sent text messages to unspecified people, then used ARS (answering machine) calls to obtain victims’ personal information under the guise of loan counseling, and used it to defraud tens of billions of won.

Mr. Park’s history and arrest in the Philippines

Park is known to be skilled at evading investigations, having previously worked for the Seoul Metropolitan Police Department’s Cyber Investigation Unit. He was dismissed from office in 2008 on bribery charges, and within three years he had formed a voice-fraud organization. Philippine police arrested Park near Manila in 2021 with the cooperation of South Korean authorities, who have since sought his extradition. However, Mr. Park appears to have used “stalling tactics” to delay the deportation process by being sued for assault.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs response and current situation

South Korea’s foreign ministry officials say they have been working closely with Philippine authorities since learning of Park’s escape to ensure his swift arrest. At this time, Mr. Park’s location is still unknown, and efforts continue to be coordinated between the two countries to apprehend and extradite him to South Korea.

Voice phishing is a growing social problem with many victims. As a result, authorities are raising awareness of these crimes and preparing a more thorough response.

Tips for dealing with voice phishing: How to stay safe and avoid being victimized

Voice phishing is one of the leading crimes for stealing personal information and causing financial harm, and the scams are evolving every day. As a result, it’s important to exercise caution and know how to respond appropriately. Let’s take a look at some basic ways to protect yourself from voice phishing.

1. verify the identity of the sender

One of the most common types of voice phishing is impersonating a government agency or financial institution. If you receive a suspicious call, always verify the identity of the caller before providing any personal information. It’s safe to call the official number yourself to make sure it’s really the organization calling you.

2. Protect your personal and financial information

Never provide personal or financial information that is requested over the phone. In the real world, financial institutions and government agencies would never ask for sensitive information like passwords, one-time passwords (OTPs), or account numbers over the phone. It’s best practice to end the call immediately when such a request is made.

3. Avoid making rash decisions

Voice phishing criminals will tell you that it needs to be done urgently to avoid giving the victim time to think things through. Don’t rush into financial transactions or provide personal information, take your time and think things through.

4. record suspected voice phishing calls

If possible, record suspicious calls. It may later be used as evidence in a criminal report. It’s also a good idea to end the call immediately and block the number if the conversation feels odd.

5. Monitor your account regularly

It’s a good idea to check your own financial accounts regularly to monitor for any unusual transactions. You can also utilize the notification services offered by your bank or card company to see changes to your account in real time.

Voice phishing is a crime that can happen to anyone. You can protect yourself and your family by staying alert and practicing the precautions mentioned above. If you are a victim of voice phishing, you should immediately report it to the police and contact your financial institution to take action.

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