Tokyo police said Thursday they have arrested six people over fraud using virus-laden software for smartphones.
It is Japan’s first criminal case involving a smartphone virus, the Metropolitan Police Department said.
Those arrested included Chitoru Manago, 45, unemployed, of Shingu, Wakayama Prefecture, and Kazunori Makita, 27, an executive of an information and technology firm living in Koto Ward, Tokyo.
The police alleged they opened an adult website in early January and distributed a virus disguised as a free movie player designed to display a fictitious billing page.
The six suspects have been charged with creating the virus and cheating a man in his 50s in Saitama Prefecture out of ¥99,800.
A total of 9,252 people are believed to have fallen prey to the scam, with their payments to the group reaching ¥21 million, the police department’s cybercrime team said.
According to the team, infected smartphones display the billing page every five minutes. The virus also relays information stored on smartphones, including phone numbers and email addresses, to a server.
The police have said that the number of victims in smartphone-based billing scams has been surging in the last few months.