Computer Crime Research Center


Samurai phishing gang

Date: June 05, 2006

The Tokyo-based group is alleged to have stolen from approximately 700 people a total of 100 million yen (approximately $900,000) by drawing victims to a fake Yahoo Japan auction website. According to police, the gang used the stolen identities of web surfers to create fake auctions offering watches, luxury handbags, and MP3 players on the real Yahoo website, which is Japan's largest internet auction service.

However, the gang never intended to deliver the goods and kept the money that was wired to them by innocent purchasers.

34-year-old Takayuki Matsuoka and 38-year-old Akio Usami, who have been named as the ringleaders by police, have been apprehended in Tokyo. A 20-year-old man, Naoya Takahashi, was also arrested and is said to have created the fake website to steal personal data from unsuspecting web surfers. A further four other men and one woman have also been arrested.

The gang are being being charged with fraud and unauthorized computer access, according to the police who say that the group has been active since June 2005.
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