Japan sees record online scams totaling $21M in 1st half of 2023

Japan sees record online scams totaling $21M in 1st half of 2023

Financial institutions, especially those lacking physical branches, heavily impacted this year

By Alperen Aktas

ISTANBUL (AA) - Japan has recorded 2,322 online banking scams totaling 3 billion yen (approximately $21 million) in the first half of 2023.

This year, phishing cases have exceeded previous annual totals, nearing the 2015 record of 3.07 billion yen (approximately $21.4 million) in financial losses, Tokyo-based Kyodo News reported on Wednesday, citing data from the National Police Agency.

The agency links the rise in cases to the growth of online banking and more advanced phishing emails.

Financial institutions, especially those lacking physical branches, have been heavily impacted this year.

It is suspected that criminal groups obtained personal information in order to transfer funds from users' accounts into their own, the agency said.

Phishing emails and text messages usually pretend to be from banks and direct users to fake websites, ostensibly for urgent issues. These messages often trick people into entering their passwords and other personal information.

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