Korean banks to cut ATM limits to fight phishing scams

LOSSES & LAWSUITS

From September, the FSC will lower the daily limit for cash withdrawals from ATMs from the current 10 million won ($11,000) to 6 million won, and the daily limit for financial transfers from 50 million won ($55,000) to 30 million won.

The measure comes amid a recent wave of phone fraud, where illegal residents pose as National Tax Service agents and con citizens into transferring money out of their bank accounts, while promising they will receive refunds on taxes, fines and insurance premiums. According to the FSC, South Koreans have been defrauded by more than 37 billion won in around 4,000 phone fraud schemes since June 2006.

The measure will put a bigger burden on self-employed people who transfer large amounts of money through ATMs.

In another attempt to defend citizens from foreign scams, the FSC has banned foreigners who stay in South Korea for less than three months from opening bank accounts. Foreigners staying more than three month are able to open bank accounts only after submitting documents that prove their identity, job and residence.

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