TOKYO, JAPAN – Yahoo Japan Corp., the operator of the large Internet auction site, has held discussions with financial institutions over a plan to freeze bank accounts of fraudulent auction sellers, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.

Yahoo previously has taken measures against fraud in online auctions, but now intends to toughen measures as an increasing number of associated problems have been reported.

Fraudulent practices include such acts as disguised postings, where buyers do not receive items even after payment. A number of auction buyers also have reported that they received items different from those shown on the Internet.

The company already has taken measures against such acts, such as banning identifications of those found to have caused problems in putting items up for sale. The company also has publicized information on bank accounts of fraudulent sellers.

During discussions with financial institutions, Yahoo said it intended to notify them of those repeatedly found to be involved in fraudulent sales. The company also has asked financial institutions to suspend bank accounts to prevent buyers from paying into the accounts and fraudulent sellers from withdrawing.

"We can't fulfill our responsibility as an Internet operator by only issuing warnings to users," a Yahoo official said.