Reports of telephone fraud cases involving calls from international lines have been soaring in Japan over recent months, National Police Agency data shows.

The NPA gathered data on the types of phone numbers reported to the agency as having been used in such fraud cases between January 2022 and Friday.

According to the data, released Tuesday, over half of the 4,118 such cases reported in September of this year, or 2,192, involved international phone numbers.

The figure was up by around fortyfold from the 54 cases reported in February, when Japan started to see an increase in phone fraud cases perpetrated through international calls.

Phone numbers starting with 050 assigned through apps came next in September, marking 1,277 cases.

Last month, 1,402 of the reported cases involved phone numbers from the United States and Canada, which use the country code +1, followed by 180 from Malaysia, using the code +60, and 57 from Britain, which uses the code +44.

The number of phone fraud cases involving international calls in July stood at 969, marking a fivefold increase from the previous month. The number of cases involving phone numbers that use the code 050 was on a decline, after hitting a peak of 2,196 cases in March.

In September, the number of international call cases overtook that of cases involving 050 numbers.

This is believed to have stemmed from more stringent identification processes being put in place for people signing up for telephone app services. In June, Japan's communications ministry disclosed plans to make the identification procedures mandatory.

As a measure against phone fraud involving international calls, the NPA is calling for people to make use of a service that stops international phone calls free of charge, which can be accessed from a hotline at 0120-210364.