Financial institutions and police are stepping up efforts to protect the elderly from refund scams involving ATMs, including the use of systems that automatically suspend transactions if suspicious activity is detected.

According to the National Police Agency, losses through refund scams — cases in which victims receive calls offering refunds via ATMs but end up transferring money to the fraudsters — reached ¥1.07 billion between January and June. The figure remains high but marked a significant drop from the same period a year ago, as financial institutions have set more stringent limits capping transfer amounts.

"We hope to prevent crime by cooperating with companies," an investigative source said.