South Korean Police Form New Crypto Scam-fighting Cybercrime Taskforce

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read
A group of South Korean police officers stands in a street.
Source: Bong/Adobe

South Korean police have announced that they will launch a new crypto scam-busting cybercrime taskforce.

KBS reported that police say that one of the new taskforce’s “three main tasks” will be dismantling and fighting crypto scams. Crypto-related fraud is on the rise in South Korea, with several high-profile scams galvanizing the public of late.

These include V Global, a realistic-looking crypto exchange that duped scores of victims with Ponzi-type multi-layered marketing tactics. A fake “crypto bank” also left investors out of pocket to the tune of some $181 million. And smaller-scale voice phishing, fake crypto mining platforms, and dating app scams have targeted individual citizens.

The National Police Agency (NPA) explained that the taskforce would have “three subcommittees.” One of these will be dedicated to the “analysis” of cryptoassets. The other subcommittees will deal with the darkweb and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and other forms of cyber terrorism.

South Korean Police to Combat Crypto Scams and Darkweb Users

The darkweb subcommittee will also likely be charged with crypto-related matters. In recent months, the police have attempted to wage war against drug dealers who advertise on darkweb portals. Typically, they make use of Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptoassets as a currency in drug deals.

Using blockchain analytics tools, police have managed to trace and prosecute and convict both drug dealers and their customers.

The police revealed that they had recruited “professional investigators” to join the taskforce. They said they had also managed to hire “experts from private-sector IT companies.”

Officers warned that the number of darkweb addresses they had identified had soared in recent years – rising from 92,405 in 2018 to 760,033 in 2022.

In December 2022, police and prosecutors revealed they had quadrupled their spending on crypto analysis solutions, crypto-specific training, and blockchain monitoring tools, paying almost $2.5 million last year alone.