MasterCard says Japan vulnerable to credit fraud

Japan’s lack of effective legislation against credit card fraud is making the nation more attractive for counterfeiters, a senior official at MasterCard International warned June 5.

“Japan is becoming the destination of choice for counterfeit criminals,” said Stuart McDonald, the firm’s vice president of the Asia-Pacific Region, in a speech in Tokyo. He said there was a surge in offenders in Japan from 1989 to 1994, partly because activities that are illegal in many other countries are not necessarily listed as crimes in Japan.

The lack of suitable offenses to push charges was reducing the number of offenders who could have cases brought against them, he said, adding that the resulting lack of real statistics is a deterrent to lawmakers who might otherwise amend laws to galvanize existing legislation. “Japan will become more exposed to (credit card) fraud as time progresses without the changes in (punitive) laws to carry it into the next millennium,” McDonald said.