On Sunday the 15th of May it was estimated that about R300 Million was stolen from ATMs in convenience stores in Japan in the space of two hours. It was found that about 100 people each drew $900. This was according to the Japanese news publication Mianichi report which stated that the police suspect that the money was withdrawn at ATMs using fake credit cards that contained account information leaked from a South African Bank. This was a standard bank scam.
Mianichi said that Japanese police will work together with South African authorities through the International Criminal Police Organization to look into the in depth theft including how the credit card information was leaked. The ATM transaction data gathered showed that information from 1,600 credit cards issued by a South African bank was used.
The Yomiuri Shimbun reported that every transaction included the removal of ¥100,000, this is the maximum withdrawal limit set for ATMs, and there were more than 14,000 exchanges for the situation.
The report also said that the Japanese police associate that a gathering with more than 100 individuals extracted the cash from the ATMs, which were situated in Tokyo and 16 prefectures.
Standard Bank issued a statement saying that it was their cards that were used. Standard Bank’s Ross Linstrom said that the target of the fraud has been Standard Bank and there has been no financial loss to their customers. Standard Bank said that they have taken action to contain the matter, and the gross loss to the bank is estimated at R300 million. Linstrom said the authorities have been alerted and that investigations are at a sensitive stage.