Consumer complaints over online merchants selling fake brand products and fraudulent Internet banking services continue running high in Japan, prodding police to take action in concert with providers of computer security software.

The National Police Agency said it received around 29,113 requests for consultations about online fraud last year and the figure for the first half of this year surpassed around 15,615. The sums exclude those concerning fraudulent transactions on Internet auction sites.

There appear to be certain features shared by such fraudulent sites, such as excessive discount offerings, suspicious-looking contact information, or a lack of contact information, inability to use credit cards and information written in awkward Japanese. The police are urging consumers to be aware of them.