33 Cases: Cryptocurrency Fraud Is on the Rise in Japan

Japanese law enforcement officials have released new figures about cryptocurrency-related fraud during 2017.

Sep 8, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:54 a.m. UTC

Japanese consumers reported 33 cases of cryptocurrency-related fraud in the first seven months of 2017, representing more than half a million dollars-worth of losses.

According to reports from Nikkei and The Yomiuri Shimbun, the National Policy Agency (NPA) reported roughly ¥76.5 million ($710,848) in fraud-related thefts between January and July. The pace of those complaints appears to have picked up as the year progressed – corresponding to the rising cryptocurrency market – with ¥17.3 million reported stolen in July alone.

The cases involved cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ether and Ripple's XRP, the reports said, with the majority of the year's reports thus far relating to thefts of bitcoin.

According to The Mainichi, another Japanese newspaper:

"Damages by virtual currency up to June 2017 were the most for Ripple, at 29.6 million yen, followed by bitcoin at nearly 29.3 million yen. Damages in other currencies ethereum and NEM amounted to 200,000 yen and 100,000 yen, respectively, among others."

The article notes that while many of the victims' accounts did not have two-factor authentication implemented, at least three accounts did. Two-factor authentication provides an extra layer of security to digital accounts, and requires a digital token to be able to log into an account.

The NPA did not reveal how the cryptocurrency thieves bypassed two-factor authentication to transfer the funds. And to date, none of the funds identified have been recovered. According to The Mainichi, the police agency said the stolen funds may have already been converted to other forms of money, including cash.

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Ripple.

Japanese police image via cowardlion/Shutterstock

The Festival for the Decentralized World
Thursday - Sunday, June 9-12, 2022
Austin, Texas
Save a Seat Now

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Trending

1
CoinDesk - Unknown
Sequoia's Guide to Surviving the 2022 Bear Market

Venture capitalists have gotten increasingly frantic over the last few months.

Venture capitalists have gotten increasingly frantic over the last few months.

CoinDesk - Unknown
2
CoinDesk - Unknown
NFT Art Museums Are a Good Idea

The metaverse turns galleries global, and helps fund the arts. This article is part of “Metaverse Week."

The metaverse turns galleries global, and helps fund the arts. This article is part of “Metaverse Week."

CoinDesk - Unknown
3
CoinDesk - Unknown
How the US Can Establish Itself as a Crypto Leader

Regulators have an opportunity to map out thoughtful, strategic policy on stablecoins and beyond.

Regulators have an opportunity to map out thoughtful, strategic policy on stablecoins and beyond.

CoinDesk - Unknown
4
CoinDesk - Unknown
No, the UK Is Not Going to Make USDC and USDT Legal Tender

For “legalize” read “regulate.”

For “legalize” read “regulate.”

CoinDesk - Unknown