The Yomiuri Shimbun Seven & i Holdings Co., which operates the Seven-Eleven convenience store chain, has revealed that its customers suffered about ¥55 million in damages following a series of illegal access incidents on its new “7pay” mobile payment service that launched Monday.
The Metropolitan Police Department has arrested two Chinese nationals on suspicion of attempted fraud after they tried to purchase cigarettes using another customer’s 7pay account at a convenience store, according to investigative sources.
According to Seven & i Holdings, about 900 7pay users had been affected by the illegal access incidents as of 6 a.m. Thursday.
The MPD believes that a Chinese cybercrime organization is involved and arrested Zhang Sheng, 22, and his 25-year-old accomplice. It is investigating the source of the illegal access.
Zhang is suspected of accessing the account of a man in his 40s from Tokyo. He allegedly displayed the man’s 7pay bar code on his smartphone, and tried to purchase 400 cartridges of electronic cigarettes worth about ¥200,000 at a convenience store in Tokyo’s Kabukicho district on Wednesday morning, the sources said.
Zhang allegedly left the store, saying he would return later by car to pick up the cigarettes. Shortly afterward, the account’s owner noticed the cigarette purchase in his payment history and reported it to the store.
Officers from MPD’s Shinjuku Police Station arrested Zhang when he returned to the store on Wednesday afternoon with his accomplice, who drove the car.
Zhang allegedly confessed to the crime, and is quoted as saying, “Someone I don’t know gave me an ID and password on social media, and ordered me to purchase the product in exchange for ¥300 per 10 packages of cigarette.”
Through the app, users complete purchases at stores by scanning bar codes displayed on their smartphones.
About 1.5 million people have registered for the app as of Wednesday.
The unauthorized access incidents largely occurred from Tuesday night through Wednesday morning, according to sources close to the matter.