• Kyodo

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Banks in Japan reported losing ¥1.54 billion in the first half of 2015 to online fraudsters who stole IDs and passwords, down some ¥300 million from a year earlier, the National Police Agency said Thursday.

But the latest figure represented an increase of about ¥500 million from the second half of 2014, according to the agency. In 2014, such losses amounted to an annual record of ¥2.9 billion.

An agency official pointed out that the level of fraud losses remained high, urging online banking users to update their anti-virus software and avoid using the same IDs and passwords for different accounts.

In the period from January to June, fraud losses were reported by 144 financial institutions in 41 of Japan’s 47 prefectures, with shinkin cooperative banks accounting for the largest number at 77, followed by regional banks (34), agricultural cooperatives (14) and city banks (11).

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