In 2023, Japanese police recorded 19,033 cyber and phone scams, an 8.3% increase from 2022, marking the highest level in 15 years, provisional data from the National Police Agency showed Thursday.

The number of such fraud cases in the country has been on the rise since 2011 following years of decline after peaking at 25,667 in 2004. The monetary loss from such fraud cases surged 19% to ¥44.12 billion, surpassing ¥40 billion for the first time in seven years.

Of the total, the number of billing fraud cases surged 75.8% to 5,136. Some 40% of them involved fake virus warnings demanding payment for tech support.