If you’re withdrawing money at an ATM on your next trip to South Korea, take off that cap and those sunglasses if you want the money to come out. This according to regulations slated to kick in as early as October reports the Korean media.
The new laws are in reaction to an increase in scammers anonymously withdrawing money from the accounts of financial victims through the use of voice phishing frauds and fake bankbooks.
To prevent these occurrences Korean ATM’s will no longer allow withdrawals by anyone wearing caps, sunglasses, a mask or an eye patch.
The new software will be installed in ATMs at 100 locations that have been the scene of frequent fraud and then gradually expanded across the country.
Kim Young-sil a director of the Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) says that customers unwilling to remove those items will have to get service at the bank counter with a live teller.
“Financial criminals often withdraw victims’ money from ATMs wearing a cap, sunglasses or a mask, worrying they will be identified by CCTVs,” Kim said in the Korea Times, an English language daily.
“We seek to introduce the new regulation to prevent such cases from happening.”
According to the Chosun Ilbo, the new software will be installed in ATMs at 100 locations that have been the scene of frequent fraud and then gradually expanded across the country.
The Chosun Ilbo also reported that “Face-recognition cameras will try to confirm the identities of ATM users and stop them from proceeding with transactions if they fail to recognize their faces.”
There was no mention of how the face-recognition software could affect non-customers or travelers from other countries using ATM machines for transactions.
Part of increased fraud prevention rules
The announcement comes on the heels of the passing of more stringent rules for opening an account put into effect earlier this year. The new regulations now require customers to provide documents that prove the purpose of their applying for a bank account.
The FSS said that in the first half of 2015 financial victims have been scammed out of 156.4 billion won ($132 million). The majority of that (99.2 billion won) being lost through voice phishing schemes from January to June.
On a positive note, those numbers are down from 106.6 billion scammed in the latter half of 2014. The FSS stats also showed that the number of fake bankbooks fell from 3,113 to 1,161 during the same period.
The new legislation on what you can wear when pulling money out of the ATM is set to proceed anyway.