crime

57-year-old woman swindled out of Y11 million in telephone scam

36 Comments

A 57-year-old woman in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture was the victim of a telephone scam, which caused her to lose 11 million yen, police said.

According to police, the woman received several telephone calls from a man pretending to be her son between February 14 and 17, telling her that he may be having surgery and that he had used company money to cover up for his stock losses. He told her that he desperately needed 7 million yen, Fuji TV reported.

The "son" further told the woman that he had changed his number, instructing her to record the number he was calling from. He also asked her to put the money in separate coin lockers in Tokyo and Saitama Prefecture.

The woman ended up giving a total of 11 million yen before realizing the fraud, police said.

On February 18, she tried calling her "son" on the number he gave her, but when she couldn't get through after several attempts, she called her real son's company and realized that she had been scammed, NHK reported.

The victim told police that the voice and attitude of the man who called her was very much alike her real son's, and she wanted to help him.

© Japan Today

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36 Comments
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Just stupid ...

9 ( +13 / -4 )

I can't believe that there are people who are still falling for the "Ore, Ore" scam. All the banks have campaigns and posters warning about it. But they say "A fool and his money are soon parted"

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I wonder how he convinced her to leave a hundred grand in a train station locker. Either these dupers are getting cleverer or this woman is extremely dumb. Train station lockers in the city have cameras on them now because of all the funky stuff that gets left in them like, women's bodies in suitcases. My guess is this station did not have them and this money is long gone although, there may be a chance of tracking them through the phone number.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I think such an easy prey shouldn't have gotten the phone from the beginning. She should have put the answering machine on and played back the messages later when she could re-collect herself. So that she might not have been swindled out of 11 million yen. Nevertheless, we have suspicious phone calls everyday. Let's be careful not to be taken in by these notorious and tricky con men.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Any real mother can pick her child out of a crowd of people. She can and should (unless deaf) be able to tell the difference between her son's voice and an impersonator. So sad.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Being asked to put cash around different coin lockers should have been a red flag. Some people are too trusting, it's a shame there are people out there that go out of their way to do this kind of vile crime.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

57??? You're not old enough to fall for this scam....sorry but this is just plain stupidity....no excuse, no sympathy

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I agree with you all, 100% the victim's fault. I blame her. I blame the victim.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

How does this keep happening? I feel sorry for her, but that is just all kinds of stupid.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I blame the victim.

She would be a victim only if she had no way of finding out if this was indeed a scam. She only needed to make one phone call to reveal the truth and she didn't even bother. Its plain laziness and stupidity on her part, and she lost a whole fist full of cash because of it.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

StrangerlandFeb. 24, 2016 - 09:05AM JST I agree with you all, 100% the victim's fault. I blame her. I blame the victim.

well what percentage do YOU put it at? Even if she is only 50% to blame, she's not the brightest tool in the shed for leaving money in a locker for her son who needs to have plastic surgery because he was a thief. I mean, come on. which part of that last sentence is believable to anyone with half a brain? a fool and her money are soon parted. and deservedly so.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

She would be a victim only if she had no way of finding out if this was indeed a scam.

Sorry, forgive me for my mistake in thinking that someone who just got scammed out of 11 million yen is the victim. Of course she was the perpetrator, what was I thinking?

She only needed to make one phone call to reveal the truth and she didn't even bother.

Hence my blaming her 100%. It's all her fault.

Its plain laziness and stupidity on her part, and she lost a whole fist full of cash because of it.

Yep. That's why I blame her. I blame the non-victim.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

I'm all out of sympathy for these.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I'm all out of sympathy for these.

As you should be. It's entirely their fault. 100%. I blame them. I blame the victim... sorry, non-victim.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

The woman ended up giving a total of 11 million yen before realizing the fraud, police said.

What an idiot. The woman was barely 57, not too old and delusional. I cannot believe how gullible Japanese are.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@strangerland: I get your point. The victim shouldn't be blamed. But at the same time I can't help being appalled by the woman's gullibility and fog. I mean, I haven't spoken to my mother in years, but I sure know her voice when I do hear it and there's no way anyone can fool me-- at least not without some state-of-the-art voice duplication trickery. But you're right. We're supposed to be living in a society. In theory we shouldn't have to worry about being ripped off. But c'mon! She really thought that was her son? He needs money for surgery and she drops it off in a locker? Hum... You know, when I watch national geographic I feel bad for the sheep too but....

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The woman was barely 57, not too old and delusional.

Really now? People keep making this claim in this thread, but I see nothing in the article that indicates just how mentally agile this woman is, or isn't.

I'm curious for all of those who are (rightfully) blaming the victim (because we all know it's her fault), what percentage would you say her intent was in getting herself screwed out of this money? Do you think she 10% intended to get scammed? 80% intended to get scammed? Somewhere in between?

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Maybe she really did know it was not her son, but had a kind heart and figured if someone really wanted the money and needed it, why not give it to them? Perhaps she has millions of dollars, as 100,000 dollars is really not that much.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Maybe she really did know it was not her son, but had a kind heart and figured if someone really wanted the money and needed it, why not give it to them?

If that were the case, I don't see her reporting it, and we wouldn't be reading it here.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

what percentage would you say her intent was in getting herself screwed out of this money?

Thats a good Q. 0%, but she should've have confirmed it was her son, perhaps over a face-to-face cup of tea. Old Japanese are always being so easily swindled. There'll be another story like this in JT crime section soon. Especially with spring around the corner.

Some wallets (stuffed with graduation cash) and cell phones (just left out ) will be "stolen" from some classroom while the graduation ceremony takes place nearby.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It isn't always easy to tell who you are talking to on the phone and the theif may have used a paniced voice, inducing panic in his victim. Many of these scam artists work in such a way to tug at heart strings and create urgency so questions are only asked later. However, I do think it was quite silly of her to leave money in the lockers especially with so many campaigns for the dangers of the ore ore scam but hopefully her loss will be a lesson for someone else.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

How come this is a victims fault?........

0 ( +3 / -3 )

How come this is a victims fault?........

Because she was stupid enough to give 11M Yen to some stranger she though was her son.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

but she should've have confirmed it was her son, perhaps over a face-to-face cup of tea.

Sure, she should have. So are you saying she intentionally didn't meet up with him because she wanted to get scammed? And not just you, I'm curious of the other posters thoughts as well. As we all know, she is absolutely at blame for getting scammed, so I'm curious who thinks she purposefully didn't meet up with her son.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Not buying her story one little bit.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lesson well learned for her...too bad it ended up being an expensive one.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Not buying her story one little bit.

Yes, because of course she intended to get scammed out of 11 million yen.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I agree with Strangerland, she should not be considered any thing less than the victim and for those who say they have no compassion, shame on you. She may have been dumb like every one is dumb at some time and maybe even more dumb than you think she should be but, fellow humans are supposed to look out for each other and not spit on those who have been tricked even when we think it was not what we would have been tricked by.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So many negative comments here. The reason the scam works is because sons do NOT call their parents regularly. It seems that males in general do not contact their parents unless they need something (help, money, advice, etc), and parents are conditioned to respond to their "little boy" to try to help them. Figure out how to get sons to call home regularly, would help.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

telling her that he may be having surgery and that he had used company money to cover up for his stock losses

I thought that one of the things that makes Japan "better" than the USA is that there is "free" health care for all citizens. If so, why is he hitting up his mother for money? Also, if he is indeed gambling on the stock market with company money, then it's on him to face the consequences of his actions, and not his mother. The company should be insured for the loss, but it would mean that they would have to press charges against him and frankly if this were the case he should be charged. But I do understand a parent wanting to help their child, but it comes a time when you have to tell them to "man up" and face the consequences for their wrong actions.

Interesting that she didn't ask him to come directly to get the money and why would she have to leave it in a train station. 57 is not old and she should have known better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

57 is not old and she should have known better.

People seem to think that everyone has perfect control of their mental faculties at 57. But the fact is, some people are already starting to lose it at that age:

Of all the people who have Alzheimer's disease, about 5 percent develop symptoms before age 65. So if 4 million Americans have Alzheimer's, at least 200,000 people have the early-onset form of the disease.

Early-onset Alzheimer's has been known to develop between ages 30 and 40, but that's very uncommon. It's more common to see someone in his or her 50s who has the disease.

Link: http://www.mayoclinic.org/alzheimers/art-20048356

This woman got scammed. It may have been because she was too trusting, or it may have been because she was starting to go senile, but the fact is, no one wants to get scammed this way, and no one goes out with the intention of this happening to them, so all of those who are blaming the victim are pretty pathetic examples of humanity. Where is your compassion?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Stranger

Yes, because of course she intended to get scammed out of 11 million yen.

Love to pick fights don't you?

There could be many reasons why this woman wanted people to think she had no money in the bank. Maybe tired of other members of the extended family constantly on the beg. Many reasons.

Don't believe all you read pal.

…and stop reading into things that aren't there!! Doesn't say she is senile.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Love to pick fights don't you?

Maybe. But that's irrelevant. I'm just pointing out how pathetic it is to blame the victim in this case.

There could be many reasons why this woman wanted people to think she had no money in the bank. Maybe tired of other members of the extended family constantly on the beg. Many reasons.

Ok, what relevance does this have to anything?

…and stop reading into things that aren't there!! Doesn't say she is senile.

Maybe you should follow your own advice and stop reading into things that aren't there, seeing as I didn't say she is senile.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@stranger

This woman got scammed. It may have been because she was too trusting, or it may have been because she was starting to go senile, but the fact is, no one wants to get scammed this way, and no one goes out with the intention of this happening to them, so all of those who are blaming the victim are pretty pathetic examples of humanity. Where is your compassion?

"maybe" is speculation so…yes you did.

Here's an idea. Instead of asking others to support their claims why not just take some time out to think for yourself why this woman may want others to think she is strapped for cash?

There are many, many reasons I can think of.

Here's one….perhaps her real son has got nasty men knocking on his door. He ain't got the cash so what do they do next? Yeah…that's correct…they come knocking on mummy's door.

But hey…she ain't got no money. And a police report to support her story.

Just a theory….find yours.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"maybe" is speculation so…yes you did.

No, maybe leaves open a possibility. I have zero idea on this woman's mental health, so how could I speculate that she is senile, when I don't know?

Sorry, but maybe 'maybe' doesn't mean what you think it does.

Here's an idea. Instead of asking others to support their claims why not just take some time out to think for yourself why this woman may want others to think she is strapped for cash?

What relevance does it have? Are you trying to say she is pretending she got robbed? If so, I'd agree with you based on the absolutely nothing whatsoever to show that this is the case.

It's pretty pathetic to by default assume that this woman is scamming someone. And it's disrespectful. If it comes out later that such was the case, then by all means condemn her (as I will). But until that point have some respect and human decency.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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