Photo: SoraNews24
crime

Saitama man repeatedly steals food from store by making his phone say 'PayPay♫'

22 Comments
By SoraNews24

Of the many new electronic payment services that have emerged in Japan in the last few years, PayPay is probably the largest. Having arrived on the scene early with aggressive discount campaigns, and somehow evaded trademark complaints from PayPal, they scooped up a large market share and can now be used to pay for goods and services at most businesses around the country.

However, with such wide usage comes the threat of misuse, as recently happened in an incredibly bold fraud attempt in Misato City, Saitama Prefecture. Restaurant owner Takuya Takahashi was arrested on suspicion of tricking a discount store into thinking he paid for 8,200 yen worth of food over several visits in August of last year.

When using PayPay, the customer first scans the store’s QR code with their smartphone app. They then enter an amount of money and tap the “payment” button, this completes the purchase which is confirmed with a little voice saying “PayPay♫”

▼ Video demonstration of the process with the “PayPay♫” sound at the end

When Takahashi was at the checkout, rather than tapping “payment” he instead made his phone play a recording of the “PayPay♫” chime, tricking the cashier into thinking the payment went through. It would seem that the staff wasn’t paying attention to the message on the screen and just cleared it after the audible “PayPay♫” cue was heard.

After some time, the store began to notice that they were coming up short only at the end of days that Takahashi had visited. Upon this realization, they reported it to police and an investigation was launched which resulted in his arrest. While in custody, Takahashi reportedly admitted to the crime saying that he was dealing with money problems.

As wrong as it is, it’s hard to deny the cleverness and audaciousness that goes into pulling it off. Readers of the news too, while largely condemning the act, had to give credit where credit’s due.

“Hahaha!”

“Oh, that’s freaking funny.”

“That’s pretty clever.”

“It never would have occurred to me to do that.”

“I’m rather impressed with the idea.”

“If he hadn’t kept doing it at the same place, he might have gotten away with it.”

“Didn’t they notice that no receipt came out?”

“Smart but wrong.”

If the comments are anything to go by, it would seem there are many ways Takahashi’s scheme should have been discovered, such as a lack of receipt. Possibly because he was a restaurant owner himself, he may have been able to use his own experience to figure out a way to smooth-talk the clerk and circumvent the payment routine to his advantage. Most likely he tried this scheme at a few places before finding one with just the right blind spots for it to succeed, which is why he kept going back there.

These types of payment systems are still relatively new in Japan, so it would seem some businesses need more time to get accustomed to them. It could be argued that automatic tellers are the solution, but even with those, unethical shoppers in Japan have proven themselves to be quite resourceful.

Source: TBS News, Itai News

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- 567 cartons of cigarettes bought with 120 smartphones at once leads to arrest in Chiba

-- The mystery of the phantom “sake pass card” at Japanese alcohol vending machines

-- How to use Japanese convenience store Lawson’s self-checkout terminals

© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

22 Comments
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After some time, the store began to notice that they were coming up short only at the end of days that Takashi had visited. Upon this realization, they reported it to police and an investigation was launched which resulted in his arrest. While in custody, Takashi reportedly admitted to the crime saying that he was dealing with money problems.

Late stage capitalism.

A usual conservative neo-liberal tactic would be to say, "He has a smartphone, he is not poor!".

But to participate in the globalized, rentier market economy: to apply for jobs or housing a smartphone is a bare essential or otherwise it is homelessness.

Takashi is an example of the inventiveness and pluck of the undercapitalized masses under late stage capitalism and should be rewarded more than the lazy rentiers in powers.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

PayPay has to start sending instant messages to the store cashier system confirming the payment, or the current system is wide open to thieves like this one.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

PayPal should sue PayPay they have a very strong case against them and could win in the court of law. this is a typical fraud and theft of a trademark and name, a classic example of Chinese businesses stealing western tech, and business models.

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

PayPal should sue PayPay they have a very strong case against them and could win in the court of law. this is a typical fraud and theft of a trademark and name, a classic example of Chinese businesses stealing western tech, and business models.

You're doing a Thomas Bach and mixing up your Asian countries, sir.

PayPay Corporation is a Japanese company that develops electronic payment services. It was established in 2018 as a joint venture between the SoftBank Group and Yahoo Japan through Z Holdings, their holding company. With 38 million users, PayPay is the largest Japanese mobile payment app

15 ( +20 / -5 )

PayPay?

give me a break.....

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Genius on his part.

stupid on the stores part for assuming things.

idiotic for the guy to constantly return to the same place. Spread it around fool.

oh well, enjoy lock up.

pay pay!!!!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Mark:

this is a typical fraud and theft of a trademark and name, a classic example of Chinese businesses stealing western tech, and business models.

Oh dear. I hope you read O'Brien's post. BTW Suica is Japanese too. Just in case you're wondering.

Don't cashiers look at their screens? Surely they have their own screens where transactions can be confirmed. This is asking for trouble.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

That is quite cunning and to be frank and earnest, it was just a matter of time before he'd get aprehended.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I'd lock him up for fraud and theft. And being a company using PayPay, I would question the app manufacturer why this is possible. There must be a transaction ID. How does the client and server communicate? The payment immediately must be seen. Or is this a delayed payment? No, it's not. And then train the staff not to depend only on the sound.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

"it’s hard to deny the cleverness"

Only Soranews could think this is clever in any way, shape or form.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

What is clever, if one is caught and the other didn’t receive the payment? I can only see two stupids.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

They should be able to trace the transactions in which no payment was actually received

Get the timestamp, then check the security video

5 ( +5 / -0 )

OK multiple things here to correct.

In most stores the cash register is not connected to paypay.

One scans the QR code enters the amount pays shows the cashier the phone showing payment and the cashier presses paid on the cash register and a receipt is given.

Only big stores/chains have paypay terminals in which the reverse is done.

The customer says they are paying by paypay the generate their personal account QR code place their phone in front of the paypay terminal and done. ( The terminal can be a smartphone )

I have paypay for my business, I don't even have a cash register, used give handwritten receipts but now I have printer receipts from my phone or laptop.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"After some time, the store began to notice that they were coming up short only at the end of days that Taka(ha)shi had visited." How could they possibly have determined this, unless there were virtually no customers those days? Me, they might remember; a guy who probably looks a lot like everyone else, probably not so much.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A ventriloquist prankster wouldld have a field day with this

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It sounds like lots of police resources were used for this crime of under ten thousand yen.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@xulux, you cant put a price on any crime, the problem is small time stuff like this costs companies millions of Yen over a period of time, if a hand full of people just take 1000 yen here and a 1000 yen there it all adds up especially when it becomes nation wide, so nipping it in the bud from day one is a good thing, even if its a small store with just a few staff, it still comes out of the owners pocket. We see it here in the UK the police force has been cut back to a skeleton crew, shop lifting is rife, even if the perp gets caught, the police wont come out ( as its not worth it ) they dont have the reasoces to deal with it, so it carries on, as perps know they can get away with it. so you say "It sounds like lots of police resources were used" i am happy with that, look at the bigger picture, society is better off for having lots of police nicking and dealing with low level crime before it becomes a bigger issue.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Dude went through a lot of trouble to steal a few bucks from a discount store. Must be embarrassing for him to be caught doing that. He should have at least taken his ploy somewhere else for a bigger score.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Conversely, due to the Corona virus, many stores require payment by card and not cash.

Buying discounted items that are not properly barcoded means the full price is sometimes mistakenly paid.

Many shops are asking customers if they want a receipt and many say ‘no’ not realizing the error.

This has been my experience more than a few times now..

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I expect the Japanese Police are squeezing him while in custody to see if he'll admit to doing this at other stores. I can't believe he limited himself to one discount store for 8000 yen. It's just that none of the other stores conclusively determined they had lost anything, or they realized the amount of the loss wasn't worth all the hassles of spending lots of quality time with the Japanese Police.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Restaurant owner Takuya Takahashi was arrested on suspicion of tricking a discount store into thinking he paid for 8,200 yen worth of food over several visits in August of last year. I wonder what he would do being a restaurant owner himself, and getting cheated out of money. This is a selfish act a businessmen who goes and cheats another business. I wonder how many customers who visits his restaurant gets cheated.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stealing food! How Les Misérables... and for less than $80 total. One suspects either his 'restaurant', or he himself, was not doing well... but kudos to the 'forensics department' of that store...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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