How Korean Plastic Surgery Marketers Manipulate Foreign Patients Online

How Korean Plastic Surgery Marketers Manipulate Foreign Patients Online

robin34@0box.eu
Dedicated to Hana, Phoebe, Olivia, Denyagan and all others on PF and chats who were attacked by this Korean plastic surgery employee. You have all patiently waited for the truth to come out.| robin34@0box.eu

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA: A large Korean plastic surgery hospital that has been in business for 15+ years spikes in popularity and sales within the last year. How did they do it? Did they somehow in a few short months suddenly become the best plastic surgery hospital in Korea? Did they genuinely go viral because waves of sincerely satisfied patients wanted to rave about them across online plastic surgery communities? 

No, it's because they hired a mentally deranged, manipulative Korean male employee to run a widespread illegal online deception campaign to artificially inflate its image and reputation while spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt about the competition through the following means: 

  • Publishing fake plastic surgery reviews.
  • Impersonating foreign female patients in online discussion communities.
  • Cyber-attacking his rivals (MVP, GNG, Namu, Opera, ID, Banobagi, Top Class, TFD)
  • Bullying and mentally tormenting foreign patients who published criticism about Korea or his clinic.
  • Manipulating, grooming and incentivizing his patients into patsies to spread disinformation.
  • Stealing patients from his past employer and his hospital's partner tourism agencies.
  • Running a series of confidence games with fake sock puppet online accounts to have conversations with himself to deceive people with gossip and rumors.

Once they had traction, they increased their prices and profited immensely.


This article is going to expose and blow the lid off this corrupt, outrageous, and out-of-control Korean plastic surgery clinic employee who will be known as "HK." A man who has single handily disgraced Korea's plastic surgery industry and stained its integrity to attract, care for and respect the dignity of foreign patients.

HK is a short, heavyset, stalky, lightly bearded 31-year-old Korean man. He has a strikingly close resemblance to the actor who played "Random Task" in the 1997 blockbuster movie Austin Powers (Joe Son). Who coincidentally is also Korean, and ironically a convicted criminal. HK works as an employee in the overseas marketing department for a large scale, and the self-proclaimed "best" Korean plastic surgery hospital, located in the Nonhyeon neighborhood of the glitzy Gangnam district in Seoul. 

HK's place of employment will be called "Yew Plastic Surgery Hospital" (not the actual name) throughout this article. This is to separate HK's unethical marketing and fraud from the hospital's plastic surgery results and clinicians, who may not have been fully aware of his activities. Nonetheless, this does not mean they are off-the-hook, innocent, and should not be held accountable.

HK operated an estimated 20 to 30 different foreign female identities across plastic surgery communities starting from September 2018.

He used these fake personas to boost sales for "Yew Plastic Surgery," and also attack his rivals and critics in a vicious smear campaign. These tactics were also used to steal patients from his past hospital employer (April 31 Plastic Surgery), and even his current hospital's contracted tour agencies & partners (DFK & Misooda) so that HK can secure commission payouts for himself.

But before disclosing the evidence, proof, and details, some readers may need to be familiarized with the online world of English-based Korean plastic surgery communities.


How Foreigners Discuss Korean Plastic Surgery Trips

Many patients join various online communities to seek advice and support for plastic surgery trips (also known as PS).

At one point or another, they may stumble upon an infamous gossip forum topic called "Asian Plastic Surgery & Cosmetic Procedures" on a popular women's handbag forum called "The PurseForum."

The PurseForum, also known as PurseBlog, PB, TPF or PF, is a large luxury handbag internet forum that also has numerous lifestyle sub-topics featuring various topics like television shows to pet care. Founded in 2005 by an American couple, the site is a cult-hit with a devoted following of women's purse fans and generates its revenue through advertisements and luxury shopping brand sponsorships. 

10+ years ago, Asian women who were handbag enthusiasts and members of PurseForum began to discuss having plastic surgery in Korea. Due to Google SEO and a lack of other communities discussing this niche topic, these threads and posts snowballed into a whopping 100,000+ posts over the years about Korean plastic surgery. Naturally, the moderators decided to group these related threads, and hence, we have the "Asian Plastic Surgery & Cosmetic Procedures" forum category. 

Other than grouping these posts, this section of PurseForum is lightly managed and moderated, which makes it subject to manipulation, misinformation, and disinformation about having severe and expensive surgeries in Asia.

It is essentially an online battleground where armies of fake accounts controlled by clinics, contracted PR agencies, startups, and medical agencies (legal & illegal); clash with real and or sponsored patients (who unknowingly befriended fake accounts and defend them). All of whom are having disinformation and psychological cyber warfare among themselves. 

To the untrained eye and innocent bystanders who are lurking and reading PurseForum, or real people actually posting on PurseForum. They might be interpreting all this bustling activity and Korean plastic surgery posts, gossip, rumors, reviews, and cries of being botched as "real info" from helpful strangers. When in reality it's industry insiders trolling each other none stop to get gain an incremental positive perception. It's analogous to a mini-US Presidential election (fake news, institutional-sponsored trolling and interference, etc...), but the president who wins your confidence is the plastic surgeon who will operate on your body.

The Purse Forum

This comes to no surprise since PurseForum has had a history of complaints by its core users (handbag shoppers) that malicious users manipulate discussions to bait unsuspecting consumers to buy fake luxury handbags.


Corruption: Shadow Viral Marketing, Astroturfing & "Promoters"

Among the 35 OECD (developed) countries, South Korea is ranked 29th, or only 6 slots away from being the most corrupt country (Transparency International Study 2017). 

As the competition for foreign patients increased, so did the tactics and desperation of Korean clinics to lure these patients. This made online communities like PurseForum ripe for abuse, corruption, and exploitation by Korean clinic overseas marketing staff members. These staff members systematically post fake reviews and disinformation, a practice known as "shadow viral marketing" in the Korean plastic surgery industry.

Shadow viral marketing is so commonplace in Asia across Chinese and Korean language sites that generating fake patient personas and writing fake surgery reviews is an industry in and of itself in Korea. There are many marketing agencies and freelancers who do this activity for clinics as a full- or part-time job.

Many foreigners seeking Korean plastic surgery information in English are unaware of the tremendous amount of effort spent by clinics to undermine their research efforts.

They do this on forums and communities, by posting volumes of disinformation, fake reviews, comments, and stirring up controversial gossip to create uninformed consumers making irrational and impulsive decisions.

How HK Recruits Sponsored Patients & Grooms Patsy Patients

A Patsy Patient (noun): is a patient who is quickly taken advantage of through confidence games to win their loyalty, compliance, and trust, so they can be used by hospital staff to spread promotional propaganda. These people may be sponsored with discounted surgeries, or be full price paying patients who comply out of fear.

  • Sponsored Patsy: is given a financial incentive (commission payments or discounted surgery) to write reviews, post photos, spread gossip or challenge critics. 
  • Non-sponsored Patsy: is an unsponsored patient who is manipulated and intimated by clinic sales staff. The patient feels if they don't comply with requests to post or delete certain pieces of information across online communities, which the staff monitors, then this will somehow impact their surgery, prices, and after-care.

The most effective way to manipulate patients is through confidence games, and these are carried out by either clinic staff themselves (writing fake testimonials and photoshopping surgery results) or by patsy patients acting as shills and influencers on behalf of clinics across surgery communities. Clinic staff members watch and lurk in these communities to spot and recruit potential patsy patients who can wield influence in forums & chat groups and or have financial constraints that can be exploited. 

Through cult-like grooming and sales pressure, they convince them to sign contracts that contain nondisclosure and secrecy clauses never to reveal their sponsorship.

These patients are then required to publish promotional and propaganda content for the clinic across communities. These may be positive chatter, postings, mentions, and selfies. They must also report their activity regularly to clinic staff with screenshots to earn credit towards, or payoff their discounted and or sponsored surgery. 

Their sponsored surgery also comes with strings attached. They will also not be allowed to objectively review or publish any negative comments about the experience since this is a condition of their deal. At the extreme, some of these patients virtually become proxy promotional staff. They may even create, promote, and manage an entire clinic themed mobile chatroom ("Some Clinic" PS Help Group) with hundreds of participants. They make it seem like a grassroots effort or initiative to help others when, in reality, it's a promotional echo chamber to funnel sales to their respective clinic sales consultants to earn a free surgery for themselves. This article will show how HK has carried out such a scheme with his groomed patsies.


Smart Patients Become Fed Up with Disinformation & Promoters

Many senior community members who go to Korea regularly for beauty treatments (who call themselves "veterans" or "vets") have grown tired of these tactics and cyberattacks by people like HK. Over the years, they began to flag, report, and label these accounts managed by clinics, sponsored patients, and patsy patients as "promoters." 

Some veterans abandoned PurseForum entirely and opted for smaller invite-only mobile chat discussion groups. And a subset of these veterans who were cybersecurity and technically savvy would go on to create a "new forum" (not actual name). That new forum indexes an archive of the "Asian Plastic Surgery & Cosmetic Procedures," posts from PurseForum and completely blocks all web traffic from Korea including proxy and VPN registrations, in an attempt to curve shadow viral marketing.

This new forum will not be named in this article to avoid attracting attention from other corrupt clinic marketing staff, and so that its members can be left alone to discuss their surgeries in peace.  

The veterans who created and moderate this new forum have become a significant threat for HK, and other fraudulent plastic surgery promoters alike. Because HK's attempts to try and access and corrupt this new forum are what eventually led to him getting caught, and for moderators to connect the dots with all his fake PurseForum and Kakao Talk group chat accounts.

For disclosure purposes, this new forum had two controversial features, which were made for research purposes and for people to toggle between PurseForum and this new forum with the same ID and not impersonate one another. One was a log-in bridge that would allow PurseForum members to reclaim their username and old posts to avoid users and clinics impersonating one another across communities to confuse and cause chaos (something that HK actually does) HK has stolen people's profile photos and copied their usernames on Kakao Groups to impersonate community members spread lies, rumors and start fights amongst each other to troll, disrupt and disband groups that he can't control. However, this login-bridge feature was only live for one day as it upset PurseForum moderators. 

But the second feature is a read-only archive that indexes the "Asian Plastic Surgery & Cosmetic Procedures" posts from PurseForum in their entirety, including deleted and removed posts by their moderators (evidence of shadow viral marketing). 

This archive will play an essential role regarding evidence of HK's guilt because it contains his entire posting activity and history; in other words, all his deceptive deeds (spam, cyberattacks and fake shill promotional posts).


How HK Got Caught by Veteran Patient Moderators

A moderator of a Kakao chat group receives a personal 1:1 message from someone using the handle/username "Hey" requesting a login and password to access the "new forum." This immediately creates a red flag and suspicion because there is a firewall around this new forum that blocks access from South Korea. Meaning, the only time someone will be asked for a login & password to view the site is if they are located in Korea.

This prompts the moderator to investigate further: 

  • "Hey" messages the moderator on November 15, 2018, requesting access to the new forum.
  • The moderator asks this person for their username and in which Kakao chat group they belong to since they generated the name "Hey" for this 1:1 moderator personal message. They answer "Going on december" in "PS 2018 Nose & Eyes" group.
  • A short URL that doubles as an IP address logger is sent to "Hey/Going on december" (clickbait) to capture his/her publicly available location and device data. This is also for tech support purposes in case they are a legitimate community member needing support.
  • The moderator asks for this person's location and they say the "US" or USA.
  • This turns out to be false, and they have now lied since the IP logger shows they are located in Korea using an iPhone on SK Telecom.
  • Moderators begin examining "Going on december's" entire chat history.
  • Moderators discovered that 2 months prior on Sep 12, 2018, at 5:58 PM EST "Going on december" posted and leaked a Korean language news article that a patient died at MVP Plastic Surgery in the group chat. This user kept attacking this clinic, stirring up fear, urging people to cancel their appointments at MVP, and picked fights with people in the chat this day.  
  • Then 2 hours and 19 minutes later on that same day (Sep 12, 2018, at 8:17 PM EST) a PurseForum user named "fragranceaddict" posts the exact same article link as "Going on december" on PurseForum and attacks the clinic with the same tone and manner.

Group Chat: "Hey/Going on december" - Sep 12, 2018

  • It's suspected now that "fragranceaddict" on PurseForum and "Going on december" in the Kakao chat groups are the same person. This account then gets analyzed, click baited and monitored. A pattern emerges of Yew Plastic Surgery mentions.

How does this lead back to HK and Yew Plastic Surgery?

  • HK's Yew Plastic Surgery work computer IP addresses were previously captured on Oct 22, 2018, and Dec 3, 2018, via IP logger links sent to HK's clinic email account by a community member (see evidence section of the article). This is because there was a suspicious uptick in chatter happening on PurseForum about Yew Plastic Surgery.
  • It was not until Dec 15, 2018, and December 26, 2018 when PurseForum moderators banned several accounts, and reported this banned account data (usernames, IP addresses, email registration, and country of origin) to a public third party spam database (see evidence section of article) that all the IP addresses used by HK could be matched, and all the pieces and dots connected that revealed HK of Yew Plastic Surgery was behind all these fake accounts and cyber attacks. 

HK was removed from Kakao chats and given a warning

On January 18, 2019, these veterans and moderators fired a warning shot at HK through a contained announcement in mobile chat groups. They revealed his PurseForum & chatroom accounts and removed his known accounts from chatrooms. They did not disclose any career-damaging proof or evidence publicly to show HK leniency and not to provoke him to cyberattack their members since he may have access to their medical records as a hospital employee. 


HK begins to smear and discredit his accusers through patsies

Instead of ceasing his fraudulent activity, in a desperate and panicked attempt to cover his tracks, HK responded. He may have perceived this leniency and non-disclosure of evidence as a weakness or bluff that no such evidence exists. To hedge his risk of exposure anyway, in case the evidence does surface, he began to manipulate his most loyal patsy patients to discredit these accusations.

He instructed them to spread lies that this new patient-powered forum is the one guilty of all these corrupt and absurd things HK does (lie, steal, deceive, manipulate, and cheat). He used his patsies to spread this message in a Kakao chat group that HK shadow moderates behind-the-scenes called Yew PS Help Group. This is essentially a marketing and propaganda echo-chamber for HK and Yew Plastic Surgery that is disguised as a grassroots effort by a former Yew Plastic Surgery Patient (HK's closest confidant and sponsored patsy).

The way patsies spread HK's rumors is by tagging his disinformation with a disclaimer that it's speculation: "Not sure how true / Not sure if it's true." NOTE: HOW WOULD HK EVEN KNOW ABOUT THE EXISTENCE OF THE NEW FORUM IF IT DOESN'T EVEN WORK IN KOREA AND IS ONLY MENTIONED IN KAKAO CHAT GROUPS?

He also redirected his cyberattacks to create a smear campaign against this new forum by doing what its moderators were concerned about, HK impersonating its community's most loyal and active members across chatrooms to create chaos and confusion amongst each other. Again, these attacks by HK, are against real patients simply trying to create a safe and un-corrupted place to discuss and get moral support for surgery.


Wolves in Sheeps Clothing

HK and other clinic industry participants would adapt to this heightened level of suspicion and scrutiny by ironically calling other people on PurseForum and the creators of this new forum "promoters" or even try to educate users on how to spot promoters, like HK, on forums in an effort to blend in and camouflage themselves as foreigners, save face and elude detection.


HK's 1st Motive: Create a Sales Commission Pipeline

Some clinics create a performance compensation system that allows individual staff members to create their own sales channels and referral system. Think of it as stockbrokers or real estate agents who are individual brokers, but are working under the brand of a larger brokerage. They have some freedom to create their marketing channels such as billboards, newspaper ads, and offline events to attract customers and earn commission sales. They work for a larger company, which does marketing at a brand level to build awareness. These sales agents might make a basic flat monthly salary, but they receive the bulk of their income through sales commissions.

HK also makes most of his money from sales commissions via patients that he can claim were sourced through his marketing "channels" or efforts. This can be the official clinic consultation IDs & channels he manages (chat & email). There is nothing wrong with official channels, but HK also uses shadow viral as his channels: fake PurseForum posts that lead to direct or personal messages (DMs/PMs), as well counting and claiming people in his patsy moderated "Help Group" chatroom as his sales and customers (Yew PS Help Group). 

His patsy moderators are fed backchannel messages and instructions because he grooms them into friends and blurs professional boundaries. They then feel a need to help and protect him as a result. And they also fear that he may create some interference and influence later that will affect their hospital relationship or future treatments if they do not comply with his requests. These moderators too are also victims, but unconscious that they have been manipulated.

HK's 2nd Motive: Hurting People For His Own Pleasure

Aside from sales, he also uses shadow viral and these channels for score-settling grudges with past colleagues, business partners who have a commission conflict of interest, and rivals and patients he wants to torment anonymously because he doesn't like them and seems to derive enjoyment from it.

Attacking His Ex-Colleagues

  • HK previously worked at a clinic called April 31 Plastic Surgery, and there he had a colleague named Claire who worked as a sales consultant (the job HK wanted to have). Later, the two would change employers, HK was dismissed/fired for lack of performance and moved to Yew Plastic Surgery and Claire quit and went to Namu Plastic Surgery. HK then used his new position and shadow viral cyberattacks to bully Claire, her clinic, and even her patients online. 

Attacking & Stealing from his own Agencies

  • HK can't earn a commission from agency sourced patients, so his goal is to attack them, spread lies on forums that all agencies are bad, and get his patsies to attack them. At the same time, he fool's the agent to promote his hospital. When a patient from an agency happens to contact him directly to double-check prices, he lies to them and instructs them to break away from the agent. This moves money out of the agent's pocket into HK's pocket.

Attacking Patients

  • If any real patients mention a rival clinic in PurseForum posts or chatroom he lurks in. HK will accuse them of being promoters. If anyone criticizes Korea or its medical system, HK will attack them like a bigoted patriot.

Attacking Rival Clinics

  • HK will spread gossip, rumors, and has even taken tragic news in the Korean media about a patient and hospital and used it to defame them. His targets are MVP, GNG, Namu, Opera, Banobagi, Top Class, and The Face Dental.

What's going to be proven:

  1. HK built his hospital's reputation through tremendous online deception.
  2. That HK is the one making money off forums and chats and that the "Yew PS Help Group" Kakao Chatroom is actually his sales channel.
  3. That HK steals people's information for his personal financial gain.
  4. That HK is manipulating and grooming patients to control what they say and do online like puppets or patsies.

HERE IS THE EVIDENCE:

Let's start with HK's IP Addresses:

  • 106.255.192.19* - Yew Plastic Surgery Hospital Computer (Windows Chrome) 
  • 112.217.238.6* - Secondary computer IP address (Windows IE/Chrome)
  • 219.251.8.21* - Mobile Phone (Samsung Galaxy Note FE SM-N935L - SK Telecom)
  • 223.38.27.11* - Mobile Phone (iPhone - SK Telecom) 

HK DID HIS CYBER ATTACKS ON A CLINIC COMPUTER ON THE CLINIC'S NETWORK.

Below are Here two consultation emails sent to HK with IP tracker links on Oct 22, 2018, and December 3, 2018, through his hospital's contact form in which he replied with his hospital's official email account. When he replied, he asked for images, and he was sent a special tracker link to an image that captures the following data.

  1. Internet (IP) Address (unique assigned number)
  2. City & Country
  3. Internet Service Provider
  4. Device & Operating System

Tracker links have a unique tracker ID. A second message was sent a month later (Dec 3, 3018) with a follow-up link to capture any new data:

October 22, 2018:


December 3, 2018:

What Happened When HK Clicked Both Email Links?

The data and IP addresses that were captured.
October 22, 2018. Report of the tracker link
December 3, 2018

THE STOP FORUM SPAM DATABASE

Where PurseForum Reports Banned Accounts

There is a public third party spam database the owner's of PurseForum use to report their banned accounts. And all of HK's IP addresses, usernames, and email addresses, including the IP address of the hospital's computer that connected to the internet is listed on there, and it can also link him to his mobile phone IP since he has a habit of using the same unique handles for both email addresses and usernames. 

Because HK's posts were so abusive, callous, cruel and rude, they were frequently reported to PurseForum moderators. Finally, the moderators noticed multiple accounts had the same IP address and these were reported to a global database to help other forum owners.

HK'S BANNED PURSEFORUM ACCOUNTS

IP ADDRESS: 112.217.238.6* - Secondary computer IP address (Windows IE/Chrome)

IP Captured December 3, 2018 (via email message above)

SOURCE LINK: https://stopforumspam.com/ipcheck/112.217.238.6*

Backup Web Archive Link

IP ADDRESS: 106.255.192.19* - Yew Plastic Surgery Networked Work Computer

Captured October 22, 2018 (via emails above)

SOURCE LINK: https://stopforumspam.com/ipcheck/106.255.192.19*

Backup Web Archive Link

Notice the email address in the red box above? fragranceaddict@gmail.com 

  • Let's look at the unique handle "fragranceaddict." 
  • He used this handle to make a Gmail account: fragranceaddict@gmail.com. 
  • He then used this Gmail account to register the PurseForum account/username "WippieHippie" from his clinic's IP address: 106.255.192.19*

Now, look at this second set of banned accounts below from a mobile phone IP address. and look at one of the usernames: fragranceaddict. 

IP ADDRESS: 219.251.8.21* - Mobile Phone (Samsung Galaxy Note FE - SK Telecom)

IP Captured December 2, 2018 (via Kakao Message See below)

SOURCE LINK: https://stopforumspam.com/ipcheck/219.251.8.21*

Backup Web Archive Link

This PurseForum handle (fragranceaddict) matches the Gmail address handle (fragranceaddict@gmail.com) from the hospital's IP address & computer. This means the below set of banned addresses also belongs to HK.

The above IP was also confirmed by a Yew Plastic Surgery patient who later became one of HK's unsponsored patsy patients. She was asked by a moderator to send him a direct message and get him to click an IP logger link on December 2, 2018.

December 2, 2018


In the banned accounts above notice the email handle pattern "psfailure" short for plastic surgery failure

These accounts were used to attack another clinic called Namu Plastic Surgery

HK would take early-stage patient photos from chatrooms who went to his rival clinic and then repost them and say they are botched and make cruel comments about them to torment his ex-coworker.

Why HK Viciously Attacks Namu Plastic Surgery.

HK used to work at a clinic called April 31 as an online marketer. He wanted to work as a consultant who meets patients, but his clinic instead recruited an experienced coordinator named Claire, and this put HK into a jealous rage. HK was later laid-off or terminated by April 31 due to poor performance and went on to work Yew Plastic Surgery. Claire had gone onto work at Namu Plastic Surgery. He then began a vicious smear campaign terrorizing his former colleague and her new place of employment.

NOTE: Many heated PurseForum posts are often clinics badmouthing each other through disinformation, fake negative reviews, and gossip for the purpose of score-settling past feuds. 

HK Attacking Namu Clinic & Bullying its Patients

Archived: This post was deleted by PurseForum but here is a web archive

https://web.archive.org/web/20181215085620/https://forum.purseblog.com/threads/namu-lies-and-botch-jobs.1001394/

"The lady consultant Claire from Namu used to work at another clinic, but she left because one patient who got surgery there committed suicide for botch rhinoplasty. (Nadine from US) she was also active on forum.
Beware of what they say... they would say anything nice to sell you surgeries.
If they mess up, they just quit and go work at somewhere else." - HK

How HK speaks to patients on his hospital's official consultation channel


THAT'S 18 TOTAL PURSE FORUM ACCOUNTS 

OPERATED BY ONE MALE CLINIC EMPLOYEE 

(At least the ones that were caught...)

Let's do the math

  • If there are at least 10 clinics spamming PurseForum (there are more than that...)
  • Each clinic averages 30 fake accounts
  • Each account posts an average of 50 posts per account over 12 months
  • After one year that's 15,000 fake posts
  • After 3 years that's 45,000 fake posts
  • There are 100K+ posts on PurseForum's "Asian Plastic Surgery & Cosmetic Procedures" thread that has been active for 6 to 7 years. How many posts could be fake?
PURSE FORUM IS GREAT PLACE TO TALK ABOUT PURSES AND BENIGN TOPICS, BUT IT IS NOT A CREDIBLE PLACE TO GET KOREAN PLASTIC SURGERY INFORMATION. NEITHER ARE UN-UNMANAGED NEWER KAKAO CHAT GROUPS AND KOREAN/CHINESE MARKETING APPS/PLATFORMS/STARTUPS.

HK Steals Patient Contact List From His Past Clinic 

HK had been fired from his past clinic due to poor work performance. When he left, he took with him his hospital's contact list in order to steal patients and secure commission sales at Yew Plastic Surgery. Here is a screenshot of a patient claiming she received this unsolicited message from him.

HK MANIPULATING KAKAO TALK CHAT GROUPS

Kakao Talk is a Korean mobile messenger texting application that is equivalent to WhatsApp or WeChat. Many Korean hospitals use this to communicate with patients. 

Kakao Talk PS Groups: Over the years, members of PurseForum began to make their own Kakao talk groups or mobile chat rooms for support and meetups. Patients who began to distrust PurseForum also became more active on Kakao. But now, Korean staff are also joining these chats, and are pretending to be foreign patients.

How Kakao Group Chats Work

  • There are 2 types of chats: (one requires you to use your Kakao ID, second allows you to use an anonymous handle or a create a profile just for chats)
  • When you enter the second type of group chat, you first create a name or choose to use a profile. If you leave and come back with a different name or profile. All your previous messages will be updated to the new name.
  • If you use the Korean version of Kakao Talk this will be indicated when you reply to photos. Instead of saying "Photo" it will say "사진" which is Korean for "photo."

Below is HK pretending to be a woman named Mel & Ellie

HK = Mel = Ellie

HK in this chatroom is praising his closest patsy patient (Liv/Livflorence). Notice how his reply says "사진" instead of "Photo." This is because he's using a Korean phone and is pretending to be a foreign female. Notice how liv replies, "Thank you Mel!" instead of "Thank you Ellie!" This is because HK left the room as Mel and rejoined as Ellie, and all his past messages as "Mel" were reassigned to "Ellie." 

HK & Liv/Livflorence having sock puppet conversations with each other. They do this intentionally to keep her reviews, positive mentions posts and comments bumped to the top of the forum.

How the "YEW PS HELP GROUP" Kakao Chat Works

This chatroom is a sales commission pipeline that doubles as a promotional & disinformation echo chamber for HK. It is disguised as a non-clinic controlled, influenced nor managed help room created by a past satisfied Yew Plastic Surgery patient (HK's favorite patsy). And the so-called purpose is to "help" people who may be interested in Yew or surgery in general. 

It is moderated by three of HK's closest patsy patients: two sponsored and financially incentivized promoter patients and one unsponsored, but peer-pressured patient. The sponsored patients are participating to complete or work off discounted or free surgery, and or earn kickbacks (commissions) they are contractually bound or gave tacit consent (secret approval) never to reveal this fact. While the unsponsored patient was peer pressured and groomed by HK and the other two patsies to comply to HK's agenda.

The creator of this chat room is one HK's nearest and dearest patients (liv / Liv Florence). She was his first and most prolific groomed patsy, who has gone onto publishing her testimonial and photos across chat rooms and forums. And she publicly defends, praises and has often encouraged many people to contact HK directly. This has earned HK the sarcastic nickname "Mr. Wonderful" as an inside joke among veterans aware of his and her scheme. 

She has essentially become a proxy promotional staff member/broker who backchannels messages to HK; in which he will coach her responses to any criticism or controversy. Even if this means HK divulging private medical and consultation information of other patients to help her defend any criticism about Yew in their chatroom. 

PROOF:

Here is HK's unsponsored, but peer-pressured "Yew PS Help Group" Kakao chat moderator. She describes her discomfort of being eavesdropped on and told what she can and cannot do in communities by HK to a veteran community member.

She is supposed to simply be a patient and customer, but she is manipulated and controlled by HK on what she is allowed to say and not say in communities even-though she is unsponsored.

Now here is HK messaging the above person to control what she says where he explains the "help" group chat made by his other patsy Liv is for sales.

WHAT HK GROOMS PATSIES TO DO & SAY IN CHATROOMS:


"Don't link other chats or mention other clinics in the Yew PS Help Group chat."

HK'S AGENDA: The "Help group" is our sales channel & not for "support" it's for promoting my hospital to funnel me a sale. HK has relaxed this policy to make the chat seem less manipulated.

"Can I get your Kakao ID? I can message you my results, and I'll show you photos of my VIP room and the amazing aftercare I had at Yew"

HK'S AGENDA: I need to close this sale. Message the patient and back channel and send me any objections they have, and try to persuade them for me. 

"Breakaway from the agencies, they cut into your bargaining power, contact HK or message the clinic Kakao directly"

HK'S AGENDA: "I can't get my commission, and the patient will have a local third party if there is a problem"

"The Face Dental (TFD), EU Dental, Ever M, Zeah etc.. are overrated. Go there if you want to be a bargain ps shopper and not get dramatic results"

HK'S AGENDA: "Don't go to those places because I can't compete with their quality and or prices, and they have real reviews"

"Watch out for that new forum. Trust PurseForum. I heard from someone who heard from someone, it's not legit and they are just promoters" 

HK'S AGENDA: "They won't let me manipulate their new forum and chats, and their new forum archived all my fake purse forum posts (evidence) that were removed on purse forum. I need to discredit them by telling my patsies to echo that it's not legit.


THERE ARE SO MANY OUTLANDISH POSTS BY HIM. HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES

A PurseForum user named "Denyagan" was a patient who had a procedure fail in Korea, and she wrote a post about her journey to have it corrected in the US under a thread called, "I was botched in Korea and I had revision in the US." 

This patient did not even go to HK's hospital, but his bigoted Korean pride was affected by her encouraging people to consider America for surgery. Below is how HK tormented "Denyagan" directly on PurseForum under the name "Glowie."

"go eat your shit that you deserve^^ ugly fcked up face. you totally deserve botch job" - Glowie (HK)
PurseForum deleted HK's posts, but here is a post where Denyagan uploaded a screenshot of a personal message HK sent to her inbox harassing her.

Source: https://forum.purseblog.com/threads/i-was-botched-in-korea-and-i-had-revision-in-the-us.1000033/page-5#post-32734839


"By looking at your attitude, you deserve a botched job" - "Glowie" (HK)
"GO AWAY STUPID AMERICAN" - Glowie (HK)
"You really deserved it!!! Stop hating other people. what the hell is wrong with you??? Nobody cares about your botch job. Seriously.. cry me a river" - Glowie (HK)
"you already look ****ed up without zygoma. your lips look you have permanent herpes." - Glowie (HK)
anyone who reads this clearly knows who the psycho is.... lol - Glowie (HK)

HK'S RESPONSE:

"haha.. this is like most annoying patient type for the clinic"

HK Pretending to be patients

HK as "fresh_cucumber" (PurseForum):

"It's been a while since you posted this, but I wonder if you did choose Yew for your surgery? I had a online consulting with Yew concerning facial countouring cuz it looks like they are pretty famous with that, but I still haven't made my mind. AND I'm going to Seoul in 2 weeks, so I'm still planning my visits to different clinics! It would be very helpful to know if you got your final surgery there! 
"Let me know your kakao ID, I will invite you!" (HK inviting a member to his Yew PS Help Group)

HK as "seoullite" (PurseForum):

It's still like 5 months left, so I'm reading a lot of threads connected to FC. For now looks like Yew has the most postive reviews for V-line and contouring (from bigger clinics). There are also Namu, Cocoline, Uvom but I don't want to consider too small clinics for myself

HK HYPOCRITICALLY CALLS REAL PATIENTS PROMOTERS:

HK tries to dodge suspicion and blend into PurseForum and chats by trying to "out" other so-called "promoters" sometimes he's right, and sometimes he's just bullying people who just want to go to different clinics.  

HK GIVING ADVICE ON HOW TO DETECT FAKE REVIEWS

THIS IS A VERY TELLING POST: Below is HK critiquing what he suspects as a fake review, and demonstrates his methodology for writing fake reviews. It's almost like a murderer writing a post on how another murderer made mistakes and how he could have gotten away with it.

(Please Read) A very interesting look into the mind of HK:

HK WARNING PEOPLE ABOUT PEOPLE LIKE HIM:

"THERE ARE MANY PAID PROMOTERS ON THIS FORUM. DO NOT TRUST EVERYTHING. CONTACT THE HOSPITAL AND SPEAK WITH SOMEONE ON THE PHONE" - HK (as a fake patient) telling people not trust forums and to contact sales staff like him directly.
"LOOOOL. THEY DIDN'T EVEN TRY TO MAKE IT LOOK REAL SOMEHOW. NICE ATTEMPT THOUGH" - HK (as a fake patient poking fun at what he suspects as a fake review)
"Please go advertise on google. Not here. Some of us are actually smart enough to detect that you are just promoter." - HK (as a fake patient)

HK ATTACKS HIS OWN AGENCIES & BUSINESS PARTNERS:

Agencies have contracts and agreements with clinics to help introduce and manage or care for their patients.

HK can't earn a commission from agency sourced patients, so his goal is to attack and undermine them and get his patsies to attack them. At the same time, he fool's the agent to promote his hospital. When a patient from an agency contacts him to confirm prices, he lies to them and instructs them to break away from the agent. He feeds them stories that he will get them a better deal, etc... This moves money out of the agent's pocket into HK's pocket. 

HK's job description according to a google translated job posting online says he's supposed to find and manage agencies, but he's a paid bonus for increasing his direct sales. Basically agencies cut into HK's commission, so he spreads rumors to tell his patsies to not mention agencies and to tell people to contact him directly.

"They overcharge you. Avoid docfinder and other agencies" - HK
"You will pay more if you use docfinder It is very simple. No one will help you without getting paid." - HK

HK GROOMING PATIENT TO DELETE EVIDENCE 

The below message is something someone posted in the Yew PS Help Group chatroom. It talks about how HK told him to get away from an agency to save money. This person posted this on PurseForum, and HK calls him to delete it since he is worried the agency will raise an issue with him. 

The patient feels a great sense of unease because his medical treatment is now becoming blurred with the hospital's business and HK's sales politics. 

He fears that if he displeases HK that this will somehow interfere with this treatment result, care or pricing.

"Hey guys... i’m having second thoughts about Yew and i would like your guys’ input on this situation. I originally was going to go through docfinder korea when i first started my research, but quickly decided not to after further research and my consultant at Yew also encouraged me to come without an agent. I posted on PBF over a month ago and included Yew he recommend me not use docfinder korea ... i was only thinking of helping other ppl planning to get ps in korea. 
Today while i was at work the consultant (HK) called me and said he saw a post on pbf saying Yew told them not to use docfinder and it sounded like me and he said docfinder found out about it and he didnt want to interfere with their business. 
I was like omg im so sorry i didnt think they would see that i was only trying to help other people i’ll try to delete it when i get home from work im so sorry for causing you guys problems. And then he just laughed... So now im kind of confused like what was the point of telling me about this? He obviously knew its not possible to delete posts, and he doesnt even know for sure that docfinder found out about it. 
I feel like I am being guilt tripped and i’m worried they will hold it against me during negotiation, or worse give me a bad result cuz they’re mad about me causing problems. Also he know i was using pbf so why did it take over a month for him to tell me about it? And the more i think about it the more im like this isnt even my problem so why is he bringing it to my attention ... I just feel very uneasy now, what do you guys think I should do?"

Final Thoughts (Continued)