TOKYO, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Following a series of fraud cases connected to cashless payments in the past week, Japan's NTT Docomo Inc. has suspended services allowing customers to connect their bank accounts with its e-money services, officials said Wednesday.
According to local media, as of Wednesday evening, 10 regional banks in Japan had reported potential fraudulent cash transactions, with NTT Docomo saying that their service with 17 regional banks and Japan Post Bank will be suspended.
Before cash withdrawals are made, in a bid to ensure that money is not being accessed using fraudulent means, NTT Docomo sad it will consider how to improve and enhance its identification confirmation protocols.
Once users have linked their accounts, NTT Docomo's service offers a number of functions to customers such as transferring money between accounts and paying for shopping.
But its services have fallen foul to fraudsters using stolen bank account numbers and passwords to access accounts linked to NTT Docomo's money service and transfer funds to other mobile accounts.
Although users of e-money can connect with a number of different banks in Japan, the identification protocols differ from bank to bank, sources close to the matter said.
In some instances, users of e-money and similar applications are only required to provide an email address to confirm their identification, they added.
The fraudsters may have used phishing emails to access other necessary login information, as the banks themselves have said their systems have not been compromised and the amount of sensitive data and funds stolen recently still remains unclear.
Local media reported Wednesday that financial losses from e-money fraud in 2019 totaled in the region of 24 million U.S. dollars, more than five times more than the previous year.
The National Police Agency, meanwhile, said that cases of illicit withdrawals from online accounts totaled 1,872 cases in 2019. Enditem