by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor
March 31, 2009
A 16 year-old Japanese college student was charged with having illegally obtained a bank account last week using an adult’s name so that he could play online casino games, according to Japanese police.
“I wanted to have an account under an adult’s name to bet on Internet casino games and bicycle and boat races,” the teen told police officials.
The boy, whose name is not given because of his age, allegedly purchase an internet bank account ID and password belonging to 41 year-old housewife in Aichi Prefecture in August for 17,000 yen. He searched online for a website that sold bank accounts offering to pay approximately 10,000 yen.
Because many online casinos have age restrictions put in place and require a form of valid identification (which sometimes can be provided in the form of a credit card), the teen could not gamble online until he had assumed the identity of an adult. In the UK for example, the average male is asked to prove his identity eleven times per year. According to research, by 2010 Britons will be asked to produce ID, usually in the form of a passport, an average of 17 times per year, many times in registering with an online casino.
The case was brought before the Tokyo Family Court under suspicions of a violation of a law that prevents the criminal transfer of finances. In July of 2007 the boy, who was then in 9th grade, registered to play online casino games using his mother’s credit card. After playing online casinos for some time, he managed to rack up nearly 1.3 million yen in gambling debts. After running out of money, he swindled three people out of a combined 700,000 yen promising to sell them online bank accounts.
A recent survey by Trend Micro says that British teens may, for lack of “netiquette” be tempted to resort to illegal methods online to earn money. Out of 505 teens that were polled, ten percent thought it was either cool or funny to pretend to be another person while on the internet. One in seven teens, according to the study, said that they have assumed another identity on the internet. Four out of ten teens said that they have accessed another person’s online account to read e-mails, look at bank account details or view a social networking profile.
Male subjects were reportedly more likely to hack into another person’s social networking profile, while females were more likely to log into an online bank account to shop.
This behavior may be coming from the parents, however, as Trend data also showed that one in three parents have hacked into another person’s online profile, including online banking information. The data, while based on just over 1,000 people, may not give a full representation of how the internet us being used by teens, but the percentage is nonetheless alarming.
Researchers recommend that anyone in the same househould amongst teens should discuss cyber crime and set better examples in the way that they utilize the internet.