Japan Airlines falls victim to email fraud, paying out ¥384 million to Hong Kong accounts

Kyodo

Japan Airlines Co. said it has been defrauded out of ¥384 million ($3.4 million) after receiving emails earlier this year that called for the payments of lease fees and commissions into bank accounts in Hong Kong.

JAL has reported the cases to Japanese police while also considering reprimanding company officials for failing to sufficiently verify the emails.

In September, the airline received an email purporting to be from a U.S. financial services company that had been leasing aircraft to JAL.

As requested by the email, JAL paid around ¥360 million into a bank account in Hong Kong for the three-month lease of an airplane, rather than a U.S. bank account that had been used for previous payments.

JAL found that it had been defrauded after the financial services firm demanded payment in October.

It also paid some ¥24 million in commissions into a different Hong Kong account, having received an email in August that was disguised as being from a U.S logistics company to which JAL has outsourced the shipment of international cargo.