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Police crack down on new coronavirus fake news

All News 10:54 January 30, 2020

SEOUL, Jan. 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korean police said Thursday they are closely monitoring and looking into fake news related to the new coronavirus amid growing fear over the infectious disease.

The cyber safety unit at the National Police Agency is focusing on cracking down on fake news related to the coronavirus, such as groundless allegations, as well as defamation and personal data leaks.

Rumors on the disease, such as claims of new cases being confirmed in certain schools or hospitals, have spread on online communities and social media, stoking fears of the disease that emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Police are also looking into a case in which scam text messages that ask receivers to enter their personal information to access data on confirmed and potential patients were sent.

"We are promptly asking the telecommunications regulator and site operators to delete or block false information that can lead to social confusion," the police said, adding they will track down both the initial distributor and those who personally shared the fake news.

So far, the country has confirmed four cases of the novel virus that causes pneumonia-like sickness, with the latest one reported Monday.

This image, provided by the National Police Agency, shows scam text messages that were disguised as information on the new coronavirus. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

mlee@yna.co.kr
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