The number of special fraud cases in which stolen money was sent via online banking services in Tokyo in 2023 grew some fivefold from the previous year to 106, investigative sources said Saturday.

The number of such fraud cases in the January to March period this year stood at 36, increasing at a faster pace than in 2023, according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department.

Meanwhile, the number of overall special fraud cases detected in Tokyo last year totaled 2,918, down 9.3%.

Fraud involving money transfers via online banking services is difficult to be detected, and victims tend to repeatedly send their money, resulting in a greater amount of damage, the sources said.

Since many people use online banking services on a daily basis, the number of fraud cases involving such services is expected to grow further, they said.

Of the 122 fraud cases in which more than ¥10 million each was stolen last year, money transfers via online banking services accounted for 32 cases, the second highest after 46 cases in which victims handed cash to perpetrators.