crime

Foreign convenience store employee in Japan saves elderly woman from scammers with quick thinking

42 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

In Japan, cash remains the most popular way to pay for things. E-money cards are gaining ground, but primarily among younger consumers, with older shoppers still far more likely to count out bills and coins at the register.

So a 35-year-old Nepalese convenience store clerk in Fukushima City was surprised last month when an elderly woman walked into the store he works at and asked to purchase an e-money card. Then he was even more surprised when she told him the amount she wanted put on the card: 150,000 yen.

Sure, it was possible that the woman was a digital-savvy techno granny, but with scams in Japan frequently targeting the elderly, the clerk felt like he should make sure the woman wasn’t being taken advantage of. “Are you buying the card to use for yourself?” he asked, to which the woman replied: “I made some kind of mistake with a website, so I have to transfer money to them. They said they’ll send the leftover amount back to me at a later date.”

Now certain that the woman was being targeted by fraudsters, the clerk cautioned her against making the purchase. However, the earnest-to-a-fault women wasn’t about to shirk what she felt was her legal responsibility to pay up. “But I was the one who made a mistake,” she countered, while insisting that she needed to buy the card. The clerk, though, wouldn’t take yes for an answer, and continued trying to talk her out of it. After 10 minutes of discussion, he was finally able to persuade her to call the police before buying the card, and after speaking with officers decided against buying it.

Not only did the clerk, a 12-year resident of Japan who lives in Fukushima with his Japanese wife and their son, save the woman from being scammed out of the 150,000-yen e-money card, his actions also prevented her from going to another store and purchasing another 400,000-yen card that the scammers had instructed her to buy.

“The woman thanked me, which made me feel happy,” said the clerk, who added “I hope I can continue to help elderly citizens and help make a society free of fraud.” He was also presented with a letter of commendation from the Fukushima Prefectural Police.

Source: Yomiuri Shimbun via Rakuten Inofoseek News via Jin

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Foreign worker in Japan fends off armed robber with single word, gets no respect from local media

-- Foreign shop clerk and Japanese customer fail to communicate because of Japanese language quirk

-- Heroic Japanese convenience store owner saves foreigner from online scam artist

© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

42 Comments
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Look, I'm here for more than 30 years. Naturalized Japanese citizen for roughly 20 years. Despite my Japanese language and the time I have spent here, I get treated sometimes as different. But as non-equal human? Maybe once or twice.

Other than the naturalization, that is basically my story as well. Notice that the people who frame themselves as victims usually hate Japan, and the rest usually thrive?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Harry_Gatto

Or, perhaps he asked for his name not to be published so that the perpetrators of this scam don't come looking for him or his home or his family.

No, that is not an issue. These website-ecard scammers operate by the numbers, not by personal intimidation. I don´t think the name would have been released if the guy was Japanese either, so I dont really see the point here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sir_bentley28Today 12:32 pm JST

There are SO MANY non-Japanese residents who do SO MANY good things for Japan and its people, be it from acts of kindness, putting their life in danger to help a Japanese person, making sure a Japanese person in danger gets to a safe place, returning a lost wallet or item, but we still get treated as non equal humans.

Look, I'm here for more than 30 years. Naturalized Japanese citizen for roughly 20 years. Despite my Japanese language and the time I have spent here, I get treated sometimes as different. But as non-equal human? Maybe once or twice. The same is when my wife goes to my birth country.

I don't think and don't feel that Japan is worse than other countries.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There are SO MANY non-Japanese residents who do SO MANY good things for Japan and its people, be it from acts of kindness, putting their life in danger to help a Japanese person, making sure a Japanese person in danger gets to a safe place, returning a lost wallet or item, but we still get treated as non equal humans.

I rarely feel treated as a non-equal human. I get treated as different for sure. But I don't find those to be equivalent.

I also have felt people in every country I've lived in, including my own country, who treated me as a lesser human. I don't think that's specific to Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are SO MANY non-Japanese residents who do SO MANY good things for Japan and its people, be it from acts of kindness, putting their life in danger to help a Japanese person, making sure a Japanese person in danger gets to a safe place, returning a lost wallet or item, but we still get treated as non equal humans.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

William BjornsonToday  04:52 am JST

I suppose, but I hope not, that it is because he is a 'foreigner' that it wasn't thought necessary to possibly include this hero's name in the story, ............................. For me, MAJOR AND SIGNIFICANT FACT left out of this story...deliberately?

Or, perhaps he asked for his name not to be published so that the perpetrators of this scam don't come looking for him or his home or his family. Possibly the police advised this or the news media involved decided it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I suppose, but I hope not, that it is because he is a 'foreigner' that it wasn't thought necessary to possibly include this hero's name in the story, unless his name was "35-year-old Nepalese convenience store clerk in Fukushima City". It's difficult to see, for me at least, why this man's kindness and concern might not be given greater currency by identifying him unless our paranoid world has generated yet some other crazy rationale for minimizing good people. For me, MAJOR AND SIGNIFICANT FACT left out of this story...deliberately?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@dagon

Well done 35-year-old Nepalese convenience store clerk in Fukushima City! Now here is your 900 yen an hour reward and we are going to have to cut your working hours by a third due to reduced traffic in the area during corona virus restrictions.

Are you assuming that this fluent 35 year-old 12 year resident is not a full-time employee?

How do you know?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Stepping up to the plate. A lesson many here could learn from. Well done Nepalese guy!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Scary to think how many elderly must have fallen for these scams. The regular Japanese or even Chinese clerk would just go through the motions, no questions asked.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Why should that be considered rewarded unless he were able to keep his Nepalese one too.

Excellent work BTW.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This Nepalise chap deserves national recognition as a true hero. 

Well argued. He should be awarded a Japanese passport as a reward for his committment and dedication to Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What a great story. Restores my faith in human kindness. This Nepalise chap deserves national recognition as a true hero. The coverage might also help alert other elder folk to these scams too.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Very proud of u.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I hate to say it, but if this clerk was some others this poor lady would have been ripped off left right and center.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

sf2k

sadly still regarded as a foreigner even though he's lived there 12 years and is married with a child

If he did not change his nationality, he is a foreigner, that is just a fact. Nothing to do with "regarded".

In the event, I would bet that on average foreigners are more turned up to scams like this, while your average Japanese part time youngster would simply have let her spend the money without thinking.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

We’d like to recognize him for ‘what he is’: a Resident. Not an ‘alien, not an ‘outsider’.

Well said, @*Luddite  10:29a JST “Well done this resident of Japan. More people like him are needed.*

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Good for him! Nepalese people love Japan, and many are coming to work in restaurants, conbinis, construction and as trainees. This selfless act will endear Nepalese people to Japanese for sure! It could even promote more Japanese tourism to Nepal once the pandemic is over.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Well done Nepalese convenience store clerk! Good for you for taking the time and persisting until the woman realized the danger. It's actions like yours that inspire us all to look out for others. Heartwarming to read good news like this. Thanks JT.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I can’t imagine the Japanese convenience store clerks that I regularly deal with having the gumption or initiative to have done this.

Agreed, just like Bertie commented the Japanese are very robotic and wouldn't have the mindset for something like this!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Well done that man.

I can’t imagine the Japanese convenience store clerks that I regularly deal with having the gumption or initiative to have done this.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Well done this resident of Japan. More people like him are needed.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Well done. Good for him!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Good on him and a small reward offered even if refused is the norm.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I clicked on this very nice story, and my first thought was: let's see how "those" posters will spin this into negative comments and Japan bashing. Of course, I wasn't dissapointed.

I have lived in Japan for more than 20 years, graduated from a Japanese university, work for a Japanese institution, Japanese wife and kids and guess what: I am a foreigner, I have a visa, and I keep my foreign citizenship! Shame on you Japan??

And for living so long in Japan, is Japan supposed to make me a CEO or something?? Is the country somehow responsible for my career choices?

There is something seriously wrong with some posters.

3 ( +13 / -10 )

Foreign convenience store employee

Twelve years in Japan, Japanese wife, Japanese family, working for a Japanese company, using the Japanese language, saving a Japanese person from Japanese criminals....

..... and the first thing we learn about him is that he is "foreign".

There is something seriously wrong with this country.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Good on him! Whatever his nationality, he did the right thing. I wonder how many robotic Japanese would step outside the box this way. Some headhunter should snap him up and put him in an executive position.

Thing is he is probably more tech savvy than most Japanese executives.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Not only did the clerk, a 12-year resident of Japan who lives in Fukushima with his Japanese wife and their son, save the woman from being scammed out of the 150,000-yen e-money card, his actions also prevented her from going to another store and purchasing another 400,000-yen card that the scammers had instructed her to buy.

So we're all not just criminals who've come here to game the system and commit crimes! The elderly are especially vulnerable to this type of scam and it shows the type of person he is for not giving up and insisting she go to the police first. I hope she realizes this guy just saved her from being scammed by Japanese (more than likely) twice. He's employee of the year material and a raise ought to be forthcoming.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

BackpackingNepalToday  07:11 am JST

Good action but i hope he stays as Japanese citizenship, Not demanding dual citizenship and hope he won't say Nepalese are very helpful people in the world and very proud of their country.

The guy did a great job, why do you feel the need to diss him?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

The elderly are very vulnerable to this kind of scam. My 80-something father once rang me all excited because he'd got a letter (yes, a letter) telling him that a previously unknown relative had died in Spain and left everything to my old man, his last surviving relative. All they needed was his bank account details... took me 30 minutes to calm him down to the point where he agreed to wait until I could show him the proof it was all a scam. So to the Nepalese conbini employee, well done, son, and if what some of the posters are saying is correct and you're not happy in your job (although you may well be) at least you've got a massive dose of positive karma for the good deed you did that day.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Nepalese are very helpful people in the world and very proud of their country.

Why not? There is always something to be proud about for every country and in my limited experience in both Nepal and my neighborhood with Nepali people, they are nice, helpful, and hard working for the most part. The world is made up of all sorts of people, but most are good, helpful, and hard working. In one-on-one situations, I tend to believe the best of other people.

Only a few are evil - like the scammers trying to steal from this older Japanese lady.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

sadly still regarded as a foreigner even though he's lived there 12 years and is married with a child

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Good on him! Whatever his nationality, he did the right thing. I wonder how many robotic Japanese would step outside the box this way. Some headhunter should snap him up and put him in an executive position.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

I think some people are being to negative. Maybe the convenience store is owned by his wife's family. Or maybe he is working hard and wants to own his own store and is getting work experience. Who knows, but at least he is out there working and trying to contribute to society. The least we can do is celebrate that.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Here’s a ‘positive spin’! ‘Hard-working people’ that are ‘helping Japan’: Let’s call them ‘residents’!

(12 years slaving for Japan; married to a citizen and raising a child for the future of Japan; he’s not an ‘alien’; he’s no longer a ‘foreigner’. He’s making a life here.

25 ( +26 / -1 )

Perhaps offer a financial reward ...say ¥10,000 for his heart warming job!

17 ( +18 / -1 )

A piece of proactive, preventative action.

Worth a lifetime of reaction.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

The not-so-good side of the story : 12 years living in Japan with a wife and a kid and still works in a conbini. Japan, you can do better than this. Wish him the best of luck, he deserves it.

18 ( +25 / -7 )

Great, positive ‘news’! Many ‘foreigners’ want to be a part of this society: “I hope to continue to help citizens and make a society free of fraud.” “The woman thanked me, which made me happy. “ plus, a ‘letter of commendation’ from the Police. Great Job. We appreciated You.

22 ( +24 / -2 )

Good on you Nepalese guy! You just saved a woman from being scammed out of her money. Its news articles like these that are heartwarming and inspiring to read in the morning, good job JT. I guess you could say that this is a case where being a little inquisitive or nosy has saved another person's bacon. My dad had a similar incident a few years back when he was messaged by someone who offered him to buy bitcoins and asked him for his credit card info, good thing we were there to stop him.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Well done 35-year-old Nepalese convenience store clerk in Fukushima City! Now here is your 900 yen an hour reward and we are going to have to cut your working hours by a third due to reduced traffic in the area during corona virus restrictions.

10 ( +19 / -9 )

Good action but i hope he stays as Japanese citizenship, Not demanding dual citizenship and hope he won't say Nepalese are very helpful people in the world and very proud of their country.

-32 ( +7 / -39 )

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