Docomo reports ¥100 million in damages in phishing scam


NTT Docomo Inc has revealed that a phishing scam using a fraudulent company account targeted the mobile phone carrier’s users, netting the perpetrators 100 million yen.

According to police and NTT Docomo, on Oct 2, customers received a fake text message claiming that their fees were unpaid, Sankei Shimbun reported. Inside the phishing message was a URL to download an app called “NTT Security,” where Docomo users were asked to enter their network PIN number. 

The scammers then used the PIN numbers to illegally purchase gift cards on the mobile carrier’s online shop. Around 1,200 people were targeted in the phishing scam. Docomo has announced it will fully compensate the victims.

Docomo has requested customers who may have been targeted by the phishing scam to call their toll-free number (0120) 613-360 for assistance.

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If all these payment systems, gift cards, points schemes were not so fragmented, it wouldn't be such child's play to get away with funds.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The real problem is that people are not educated enough to avoid even primitive scams online or on their phone. There really should be a large effort by the government and media to get the message out - teach people to spot suspicious messages and emails, teach them not to click on links so easily, teach them never to download apps without double checking everything. I got these messages - they were clearly not from Docomo, because the sender was just a phone number.

Anyone can get caught. The scam might be sophisticated. But 99% of scams are fairly obvious, and the only way to get caught is to be completely unaware of security or just to be caught when your guard is down. The first is something that can be remedied with one of those campaigns the government here is so fond of.

5 ( +6 / -1 )


In the town where I live, the ward office handed out flyers about a year ago telling people to beware of phone scams. It didn't apply to this case, but the principle was the same or similar. And before that, our office gave out leaflets to make people beware of phone calls, especially older people, where the other party pretends to be a family member and needs financial help, or where a family member is in hospital.

I think the main problem is the fact that in Japan there are a huge number of leaflets warning, urging, campaigns, etc. And there are so many that it creates a kind of noise and sense of overwhelming. Another thing is that most of the leaflets are full of childish characters, various drawings, and the important information is somewhere in the middle, lost in the flood of irrelevant drawings and infantilism.

Instead, Docomo could have reacted immediately and blocked these types of messages at the network level. Just like a lot of mobile operators did a few years ago in Europe when phone calls/messages from African countries became rampant. They already have the resources and tools to do this.

But it is true that in general there is little awareness of cybercrime in Japan, the prevention of cybercrime itself. Instead, it's only dealt with when there's a real fire.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

¥83,000 per person.

I double check through a separate browser with the real company and report the scams. Happens like crazy with fake Apple sites and PayPal is notorious for getting scam spam.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

One might want to also inquire how the fraudulent company got all the Docomo addresses.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The whole country is full of people that fumble with technology, even inside of these telecommunication companies, I am not surprised scammers can get away with things like these.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

If all these payment systems, gift cards, points schemes were not so fragmented, it wouldn't be such child's play to get away with funds.

In contrary, the damage would be much bigger with only one successful attempt and then the whole system and everyone would be affected at one same time with astronomical amounts in sum and economical damage or shattered image or all customer’s trust.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People are too stupid and thus fall for this crap! I get at least one such message a month... And from someone pretending to be Amazon too!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Inside the phishing message was a URL to download an app called “NTT Security,” where Docomo users were asked to enter their network PIN number.

Who falls for this? Maybe there should be something like an electronic drivers license before people are allowed to connect to the internet.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

NTT fees are collected by Docomo from my banking account every month.

It is impossible that there are open NTT bills.

We receive frequently spam messages into our internet email accounts, hoax SMS into our mobile phones and even personal phone calls from unknown people, but also letters and postcards claiming income tax or national health insurance are not paid, we should transfer our money to other banking accounts, urgent payment of delivery fees, or offer to help with inheritance against a small payment etc. There are spam filters, delete-options and a trash box available to remove such nonsense messages.

In case of a real problem or doubt, we would just visit personally the next Docomo shop, bank branch office, ward office or tax office etc. and ask for advice.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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