Asia

Japanese banks tighten up after $16 million taken from ATMs

  • A woman uses a copy machine placed next to an ATM at a convenience store in Tokyo, Tuesday, June 7, 2016. Japanese banks that lost some 1.8 billion yen ($16.5 million) when fake overseas cards were used at convenience store ATMs are scrambling to combat such fraud. The illegal withdrawals were made in just a few hours on May 15 at more than 1,000 ATMs in 17 prefectures (states), according to Japanese media reports. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    A woman uses a copy machine placed next to an ATM at a convenience store in Tokyo, Tuesday, June 7, 2016. Japanese banks that lost some 1.8 billion yen ($16.5 million) when fake overseas cards were used at convenience store ATMs are scrambling to combat such fraud. The illegal withdrawals were made in just a few hours on May 15 at more than 1,000 ATMs in 17 prefectures (states), according to Japanese media reports. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)  (The Associated Press)

  • People use ATMs at a railway station in Tokyo, Tuesday, June 7, 2016. Japanese banks that lost some 1.8 billion yen ($16.5 million) when fake overseas cards were used at convenience store ATMs are scrambling to combat such fraud. The illegal withdrawals were made in just a few hours on May 15 at more than 1,000 ATMs in 17 prefectures (states), according to Japanese media reports. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    People use ATMs at a railway station in Tokyo, Tuesday, June 7, 2016. Japanese banks that lost some 1.8 billion yen ($16.5 million) when fake overseas cards were used at convenience store ATMs are scrambling to combat such fraud. The illegal withdrawals were made in just a few hours on May 15 at more than 1,000 ATMs in 17 prefectures (states), according to Japanese media reports. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man looks at magazines near an ATM at a convenience store in Tokyo, Tuesday, June 7, 2016. Japanese banks that lost some 1.8 billion yen ($16.5 million) when fake overseas cards were used at convenience store ATMs are scrambling to combat such fraud. The illegal withdrawals were made in just a few hours on May 15 at more than 1,000 ATMs in 17 prefectures (states), according to Japanese media reports. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    A man looks at magazines near an ATM at a convenience store in Tokyo, Tuesday, June 7, 2016. Japanese banks that lost some 1.8 billion yen ($16.5 million) when fake overseas cards were used at convenience store ATMs are scrambling to combat such fraud. The illegal withdrawals were made in just a few hours on May 15 at more than 1,000 ATMs in 17 prefectures (states), according to Japanese media reports. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)  (The Associated Press)

Japanese banks that lost some 1.8 billion yen ($16.5 million) when fake overseas cards were used at convenience store ATMs are scrambling to combat such fraud.

Two banks that operate ATMs in convenience stores say they have reduced the withdrawal limit for customers using non-Japanese cards.

Japanese media have reported that the illegal withdrawals took place on May 15. The thefts occurred in 17 prefectures (states).

The reports say fake cards of a South African bank were used, and police have arrested three suspects so far.

Seven Bank spokesman Masatoshi Ogihara said the bank is also strengthening monitoring and cooperation with police but declined to provide specifics.