Mobile phone signal-blocking at cash dispensers is the newest effort to fight fraud in Japan.
In October Japan police made a major nationwide effort to prevent citizens – especially the elderly – from becoming victims of various telephone scams. In many of the frauds, senior citizens were instructed by phone to go to banks and withdraw money. The con artists told the victims to bring a phone in order to receive continuous instructions. Police eventually were stationed at most ATM cash dispensers, and questioned folks using cell phones. (Timeline)
Chiba Bank installed phone signal-jamming devices at 4 unmanned ATMs at bank branches in the Tokyo metropolitan area Dec. 10. It is the first use of the device in a financial institution in Japan.
The ceiling-mounted electric wave control unit blocks cellular signals inside a sphere of 1-2 meters. Phones of customers waiting in line a few steps from the ATMs are not affected by the frequency blocker. The bank will phase-in the cell phone signal-blocking device at all its ATM locations.
Electric wave control devices that block mobile phone signals are currently installed in some concert venues and medical facilities in Japan.
A cell phone blocking license issued by The Japan Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications is required in order to legally install and operate the phone frequency blocker.
related: Fraud prevention tips for the elderly.
source, photos: 47News; Yomiuri Shimbun
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