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Korean Crypto Exchanges Block Romance Scammers’ Access to Digital Assets Worth Over $82 Million


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South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges have successfully stopped romance scams and voice phishing criminals from siphoning digital assets worth over $82.6 million in the past year. The exchanges attribute their success in blocking criminals to abnormal transaction detection systems, which assist in flagging possible fraudulent transactions.

Romance Scams on the Rise

In 2023, South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges successfully stopped cybercriminals who targeted victims with romance scams and voice phishing from siphoning digital assets worth more than $82.6 million. The exchanges were reportedly able to achieve this by deploying the so-called abnormal transaction detection systems.

According to a report by one local media outlet, such a system enables the exchange to monitor and flag possible romance scams and other suspicious transactions. A typical romance scam often involves a criminal using a fake social media profile to lure a victim into an online romantic relationship. After gaining the victim’s trust, the scammer will then ask them to send money to fraudulent websites that claim to trade foreign currency exchange or digital assets.

As explained in the report, romance scams have emerged as one of the most rampant fraud tactics used by cybercriminals in South Korea. In the United States, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recently warned investors to be vigilant when dealing with strangers who ask or invite them to invest in unregistered trading platforms.

In South Korea, Coinone, one of the country’s top crypto exchanges, claimed it blocked romance scammers from accessing $2.6 million. As explained in the report, some of Coinone’s stringent requirements were instrumental in stopping scammers in their tracks. In one such case, an unnamed 60-year-old male was nearly conned of his entire cryptocurrency holdings by a romance scam group.

“I am planning to send it to a friend who runs a beauty salon in Japan. She’s going to invest like this guy,” he reportedly said as he attempted to complete the transaction. However, Coinone ultimately blocked the transaction after it failed the verification process, the report said.

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