Cash deposits at ATMs without a card or a passbook — using only the account number and pin — will be limited to 500,000 won a day, and withdrawals by this method will be capped at 3 million won a day by this method.
Transfers will not be possible for three days for accounts opened online or with an app, unless the transfer is initiated directly through the app of the financial institutions.
These were few of the measures being taken to prevent losses from voice phishing scams announced by the Financial Services Commission on Thursday.
In voice phishing, the scammer calls the target, impersonates a person of authority, such as a bank employee, and requests personal information, such as bank account numbers and pin codes.
In Korea, the practice has reached epidemic proportions.
The new measures will go into effect in October.
Authorities are also limiting the number of phone numbers that can be issued to an individual in a month to three.
A Korean citizen can currently be assigned up to four phone numbers by a single carrier, while a non-citizen is limited to two.
When including mobile virtual network operators (MVNO), also known as altteul phone service operators, a single person can own as many as 150 different numbers.
People who have allowed their names to be used for the registration of phones by others will be unable to register numbers for a certain period of time.
The government said it will take more aggressive action against shops that register numbers for people without properly checking the identity of the person.
Telecommunication operators and manufacturers will be obligated to notify users if a call or a message is from abroad, as many of the phishing scams have originated overseas.
In the Philippines, 39 people were recently arrested for running phishing scams and taking 1.8 billion won from 378 Korean victims. The head of the organization was arrested in China with the help of Interpol and the Chinese police.
In another recent case, 11 people were found to have been involved in a phishing scam operating in Korea and abroad, resulting in an arrest of four people. Some were members of a criminal organization in Busan and three were drug addicts. A foreigner was also involved.
The announcement came just days after President Yoon Suk-yeol stressed the need for the government to intensify its war against crimes threatening the livelihoods of average people, especially voice phishing and stalking.
According to the government, in the first eight months of this year, a total of 16,431 have been arrested for their alleged involvement in voice phishing scams.
Of those, 10,151 were low-level operators carried out simple tasks, such as delivering cash from victims.
Some 2,967 were charged for lending their bank accounts.
A total of 96,000 phone numbers were used in the scams, as well as 4,000 apps and 3,800 Kakao messenger accounts.
According to the government task force, due to intensified crackdown on voice phishing scams, the number of cases and the losses fell on year.
The number of cases declined from 22,816 to 16,092 while the total loss fell from 562.1 billion won to 408.8 billion won.
BY LEE HO-JEONG [firstname.lastname@example.org]