Japan faces rise in forged My Number ID cards due to system error

Japanese authorities are dealing with a rise in cases involving counterfeit My Number national identity cards, a key component of the country's personal identity and social security system. There was a previous report that the system faced persistent errors in issuing documents.

The My Number system assigns each resident a unique 12-digit identification number to facilitate various administrative processes, including tax filing, Social Security and disaster response. However, recent investigations have revealed a sophisticated network of counterfeiters producing high-quality counterfeits that undermine the integrity of the system and pose serious risks to national security and public trust.

Last year, the government agency responsible for issuing My Number digital ID cards in Japan launched a pilot to test the effectiveness of identity verification credentials for buyers in the entertainment ticketing industry.

The rise in counterfeit My Number cards has caused public concern, with many citizens concerned that their personal information could be misused. Recently, the Mainichi Shimbun reported that a resident's smartphone was counterfeited in order to purchase a Rolex watch worth 2.25 million yen (approximately $14,355).

Reports indicate that these forged ID cards are being used for a range of illegal activities, with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications noting that such incidents have increased significantly over the past year, with more than 500 cases under investigation as of April 2024.

The Japan Digital Agency, in collaboration with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and other organizations, has distributed guidance to private businesses on identifying counterfeit My Number cards. These cards contain an IC chip that stores the cardholder's name, address and other information.

In 2022, the Japanese government announced plans to terminate the current health insurance card system and integrate its functions into the “My Number” digital identity infrastructure.

Article topic

Digital ID Cards | Fraud Prevention | Government Services | Identity Documents | Japan | My Number

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