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College students rush to delete tutor-matching apps after Busan murder

By Lee Jaeeun

Published : June 6, 2023 - 14:50

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Murder suspect Jung Yoo-jung is escorted from a police detention center in Busan on Friday. (Yonhap) Murder suspect Jung Yoo-jung is escorted from a police detention center in Busan on Friday. (Yonhap)

College students rush to deactivate their accounts on tutor-matching apps after Jung Yoo-jung, a 23-year-old suspect in the murder of a woman in her 20s in Busan, was identified as having found the victim through one of these apps.

A female student residing in Busan has expressed concern on Everytime, a community popular among university students, saying, “I feel dizzy and disgusted at the thought of Jung having seen my information on the app. I could have been a victim.” She added that she has deleted the app.

Another female college student posted on Everytime, "I received a message through the app from a middle-aged man before. The man said he didn't need a tutor but that he would give me money if I met him and talked to him. I closed my account because I was scared. "

The app used by the suspect thoroughly verifies the identities of tutors to prevent any instances of tutors presenting false credentials, but it does not verify the identities of students and parents.

To register as a tutor on the app, it is necessary to submit photos, proof of identification, a university student ID card, etc. The phone numbers of the tutors are also disclosed to members. On the other hand, if someone wants to sign up to the app as a student or a parent, they are only required to enter a mobile phone number and verify it.

Criticism is mounting against the app, saying that it exposes too much of its tutors' personal information, making it easy to become a target of crime.

The app used by Jung came up with urgent countermeasures on Friday. "(The app) will be revised so that students and parents can send messages to tutors only after checking their personal information," the CEO said in a notice.

Jung is suspected of having approached a university student and freelance tutor looking to tutor a middle school student by pretending to be the mother of a student. On May 26, Jung disguised herself as a middle school student and visited the victim's home under the guise of taking a class. She is then thought to have allegedly murdered the victim, according to police. Jung was arrested on May 27.

The Busan Metropolitan Police Agency disclosed Jung's name, age and photo on Thursday, taking the seriousness and brutality of her crime into consideration. The agency also conducted a psychopathy test, known as the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised, on Jung. Her score exceeded the average, said police. In Korea, when a person scores more than 25 out of 40 on the test, the person is considered a psychopath. The average person scores about 15.

The Busan Metropolitan Police Agency has revealed the identity of Jung Yoo-jung, 23, who is accused of murdering a woman in her 20s. (Busan Metropolitan Police Agency) The Busan Metropolitan Police Agency has revealed the identity of Jung Yoo-jung, 23, who is accused of murdering a woman in her 20s. (Busan Metropolitan Police Agency)