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80-year-old woman conned out of Y15 million in telephone fraud


An 80-year-old woman in Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture, was deceived into paying some 15 million yen after she fell for a telephone call fraud, police said.

According to police, the woman received a call on Nov 6 from a man claiming to be her son, Fuji TV reported. The "son" said he needed money for emergency surgery, but his account was frozen and he needed her to pay in advance.

The woman, not realizing that she was a victim of fraud, complied with the request and handed the cash to another man, who identified himself as a coworker of her “son” and had come to collect the money.

The crime came to light after the woman called her real son later on to confirm the situation.

The incident is yet another case of the money extortion fraud, colloquially known as “ore ore sagi” in Japan, meaning, “It’s me, it’s me, fraud.” The word refers to the way fraudsters typically call elderly relatives, posing as their grown children, by saying, “It’s me,” and then ask for urgent financial help.

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This is really sad. They need to increase penalties on those scamming the elderly, increase awareness of criminal tactics, and hold workshops on financial literacy to empower the elderly to protect themselves and their life savings.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I thought banks had put measures in place to stop elderly people withdrawing huge sums of money, so the question is: Where did she get 15m yen in cash from?

Surely she didn't have it all at home?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Probably did have it at home!

I was up in Tohoku after the tsunami and you would not believe the mountains of home safes handed into the police stations that were still open. Thousands of them all full of cash.

Nobody trusts Japanese banks and they only guarantee 10 million in each account. So yes, she probably had it at home.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

No caller ID? It's Me! Me who? Mom! Fools and there money soon part ways, the saying is.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I have yet to see any serious TV announcements targeting this or any other social issue really. The JT - they are not antismoking - campaign is like attacking Osaka Castle with a wet lettuce leaf. The government, banks or somebody should be buying time on all TV networks and seriously and openly addressing a whole range of social ills. They do nothing.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

80 years old is old. Very old. Judgment is one of the things that go . Easy prey for cheats. Logic also goes. Sad story. Hopefully using cctv cameras they will nab these people.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Polar - I agree completely.

And this is why I can't believe that she had 15m+ yen in cash in the house.

Surely family should be making sure that elderly family members and their belongings are safe and secure, and that appropriate financial arrangements are in place - especially when things like 'ore ore' scams are a possibility.

It seems that a lot of Japanese people are either oblivious or ignorant to the 'ore ore' scams, in which case the government / media need to do more to publicize the cases, or they just don't really care about their elderly relatives enough to bother trying to make sure they aren't possible future victims of such crimes.

Whichever way you look at it it's a sad state of affairs.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You'd be surprised the amount of calls and/or home visits elderly people get. Some get people coming over asking to repair a gas line for ¥1 million or to look around the house for termite problems or offers to pay ¥2000 for a diamond ring worth 100 times the price. I have heard it all.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The incident is yet another case of the money extortion fraud**

Is this an error? I don't think she was threatened.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Duck70 I also fail to find extortion in this write up. Extortion implies some kind of threatening as I looked in terminology concepts. Sorry my English not so good.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

So as the population continues to age, the pickings won't be getting slimmer and slimmer for these scammers?

Ridiculous how we read about elderly japanese who keep getting swindled like that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's only bad because they're not politicians.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm amazed this scam works, and is STILL happening (despite the colorful and cutesy cartoon pictures that try to educate people about the problem, seemingly in a fun way).

Like, how hard can it be, after ALL THESE YEARS, that people still don't get the message "if some random person calls you claming to be your son and asking for MILLIONS of yen, DONT give it to them"?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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