The government has decided to limit daily ATM withdrawals in an effort to thwart rampant phishing scams.An anti-phishing taskforce on Thursday said that as part of the crackdown, phone numbers by mobile operators will also be limited to three per person per month starting Saturday. Currently, every person can have as many as 150 different numbers, or three from each of 50 different service operators.The taskforce has ferreted out a total of 16,431 scammers and operators since its investigation started last December. Some 96,000 phone numbers, 4,000 malicious apps and 3,800 Kakao accounts were blocked or cut off.
The government also decided to reduce daily cash deposit limits at ATMs to prevent scammers from disguising or laundering their ill-gotten gains.The maximum limit of cash deposits at ATMs will be cut from the current W1 million to W500,000 each time, while withdrawals will be capped at W3 million per day (US$1=W1,439). Currently, there is no daily limit to the amount of money each person can withdraw from ATMs.This could reduce the total amount of money being stolen by scammers as many victims, who are often elderly and prefer ATMs to online banking, lose their savings by agreeing to remit huge amounts of cash to anonymous or unidentified bank accounts.