Digital theft is on the rise recently with several incidents of unauthorized withdrawals from various institutions. 

This Monday, NTT Docomo Inc., a leading mobile phone company in Japan, officially announced that they had confirmed over 120 digital fraud cases via its electronic payment service. Around 25.4 million yen (roughly $240,000) was stolen. 

Docomo’s new payment service has run into identity verification issues, leading to unauthorized withdrawals. Image sourced from english.kyodonews.net.

The company recently expanded its online payment service to other carriers as well in September. However, to register an account, only a name and email address were necessary. With no proof of the identity system in place, it made it easy for fake accounts to be made. The company has since apologized for its slow response and assured its users that proof of identification will now be required before using the service.

In another incident, 17 illegal charges have been tied to Japan Post Bank using another smartphone payment service, PayPay. Altogether, the amount withdrawn was around 1.4 million yen. PayPay has since promised to compensate the victims in full. The details of the breach are currently unknown. 

17 illegal charges have been tied to Japan Post Bank using PayPay. Image sourced from https://r.nikkei.com/

Japan still accepts only cash payments in many places outside of cities. Digital payments and cards have only recently started to be more integrated, but the propeller precautions must also be taken to successfully integrate digital pay. Lax security or verification to access a bank account online could otherwise prove catastrophic for some customers.