crime

Cop cutout warns against bank transfer fraud

35 Comments

Police are taking extra steps to prevent bank remittance fraud in Kobe, by placing a life-sized 170-cm-tall cutout of a police officer in a Mitsui Sumitomo Bank branch in Kita Ward.

The cutout is of an officer on active duty, Kobe police sergeant Soichi Shirato. The cutout has a recording which says, "Don't make a bank transfer without consulting your family and friends first."

© News reports

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35 Comments
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Wow! I would think that a big cutout of a Nigerian 419 scammer, a chimpira, a cheezy hacker dude, and some joushikousei in really really short skirts and lots of makeup would attract much more attention and serve as a much better warning against fraud. I know the Nigerian counts as a gaijin, but now that I think about it, throwing in a few more gaijin is always going to drive the message home better for people over 20.

And might I add that this message is really self defeating: “Don’t make a bank transfer without consulting your family and friends first.” Are they really advocating this? I have to call my friends and family before making a bank transfer... just to be on the safe side before paying my electric bill? Maybe we should all go to the bank together and make a party of it?

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How about a cutout at all pachinko parlors that warns players not to waste their rent and grocery money, and not to leave their children in the car while playing.

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should place some "life-sized" 170-cm-tall cutouts in the koban, prob do a better job there too :)

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They mean contact the person they are suppose to be sending the money to first before transfer. Very simple and practical advice.

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Cool! I suppose it is better than a doraimon or anpanman cutout.

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Wonder if he had to pay for his own poster to be made???

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"Don't make a bank transfer without consulting your family and friends first."

What if your family and friends are untrustworthy?

sensei258 - Good one.

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The yakuza are having a field day with this.

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Life size??? Doesn't that mean the same as the real person.... I think somebody messed up at the printing press....

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This campaign may look silly in translation, but it is probably an effective response to the crime in question. Remittance fraud (furikome sagi in Japanese) involves phoning someone, usually an old person, and pretending to be their relative. You tell them you have money troubles and ask them to remit money to you urgently. Hence the advice that you should call family members (or the family member concerned) before remitting funds. An elderly person with hearing loss or dementia might easily be fooled. There are warning signs everywhere in Japanese banks, but people still fall for this trick, so a large cardboard cop might be just what's needed to get people's attention.

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Why don´t they replace all the koban cops with cardboard cutouts? If it works...

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if that cut-out were really 170cm then that copper holding it would be the tallest man in Japan

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Does it come with those paper clothes with the tabs? I'd love to see what he would look like in a mini-skirt!!

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er...which one is the cutout????

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A picture of a cop would be more appropriate with a warning not to commit fraud. I endorse 5SpeedRacer5's post and vote for the chimpira cut-out! I might also suggest a yakuza dude with black gloves, a suit and tie with blue shirt, mirrored sunglasses and slicked back hair with an evil grin.

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I have to call my friends and family before making a bank transfer...

Hello mum/dad it's me! Hello. Send me some money I need some. OK. What's your account number? It's XXXXX. Don't worry, I'm so lonely that I won't ask you your name.

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I guarantee you if they put a cut out of some ugly looking foreigner that said "thanks for you cash!" people would think twice about making bank transfers.

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After 10 continuous hours of listening to the recording play the same message over and over, bank tellers staged a riot where the policeman cutout was burned in the street. Police arrested the tellers for assulting a police officer with intent to kill.

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What's the difference between a life-size, cardboard cutout of a Japanese cop and a real-life one? Not much.....

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Haha.. Bamboohat! I think an evil laugh needs to be appended on there.

It is a great idea you have.. but you know that banks would never go for it. They want their fees for doing basically nothing. Let's face it, the banks have no risk. They just want to put people to sleep while making people think that they are "proactive". What better way than to put a cardboard cop next to the machines?

The psychology of it escapes me. Wouldn't a message on the screen be more effective? The machine could detect when an unusually large amount of money (compared to some moving average) is being sent to an account for the first time, or to a newly opened account and flash the warning more strongly in such cases. Why the image of a policeman giving the warning? Who is this going to deter? Will someone be warned or emboldened to stand up to the bad guy?

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Hmmm...just how tall is the real cop standing next to the smaller "life-size" cutout that is supposedly 170cm??? Hellloooo officer.

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I wonder is the cut out makes stupid recorded announcements and has a hidden camera in its shoe.

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After 10 continuous hours of listening to the recording play the same message over and over, bank tellers staged a riot...

Except banks in Japan are only open for 6 hours a day...also the tellers in my bank wouldn't be able to hear the recording anyway, there is a door between that part of the bank and the ATMs.

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I wonder is the cut out makes stupid recorded announcements and has a hidden camera in its shoe.

It says in the second paragraph that the cutout has a recorded announcment.

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Cop cutout

smarter, and more personality than the real thing

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The ATMs already warn you about sending money to people. There's even a drawing of an evil demon man on the phone with a poor, confused old woman to accompany it.

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Maybe it's just me, but his jacket looks way too big...

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My daughter and her colleagues visit old people's homes and give them talks warning them about the scams. The old people apparently listen intently, nodding their heads all the time and agree they won't get tricked. Unless young Hiroshi really does need the money, of course.

It's sad that so many people are ready to believe that their family members are so inept when it comes to money matters.

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Cleo, I was just reading today about a lawyer in Houston who gave 180k dollars to a guy in Hong Kong. It is always sad, but some people fall for scams because they are greedy. Old Japanese people fall for it because they are nice people.

My best advice to anyone is that money and passion of any kind do not mix. Fear and greed are used by people to make others do what they do not want to do, so taking things very slowly is the surest way to stop any kind of scam. Maybe that is what the police should tell old people. Dragging things out is the surest way to increase the scammer's exposure and risk, and give a person a chance to get correct information. My rule is that anyone jumping up and down for money deserves to wait. Works for me.

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taking things very slowly is the surest way to stop any kind of scam. Maybe that is what the police should tell old people.

That's what they do tell them. That, and to check with family members before they rush to the bank. A typical scam is to phone the old person pretending to be their son (poor hearing makes it difficult for the old person to recognise that it isn't in fact their son calling) and claiming that they've got themselves into trouble - caused a traffic accident, been caught groping someone on the train, got a mistress pregnant, embezzled company funds etc - and they need an immediate cash hand-out to pay off whoever it is they've hit/groped/ etc otherwise they face losing their job/going to jail/bringing scandal on all the family. The old person panics and can think of nothing but how to get the money to them as quickly as possible to avert pending disaster; thoughts of checking up first just fly out of the window.

I really do find it sad that people are so ready to believe that their own offspring are likely to get into that kind of trouble.

My mil's friend had a great response to a scam call.

Caller - Hello, mum? It's me.

Mil's friend - Me? Who's me?

Caller - It's me, mum. Me.

Mil's friend -Takashi? My son Takashi? Is that you?

Caller - Yes mum, it's me, Takashi, your son Takashi. Don't you know my voice?

Mil's friend -My son isn't called Takashi. (puts the phone down.)

Another old lady I saw on telly launched into a long long rant about how her son never came to see his poor old mum, there she was a martyr to cataracts and arthritis, house-bound and her no-good son never came to see her when was he coming and why did she never get to see her grandchildren etc etc etc - not allowing the caller to get a word in edgeways, until he gave up and hung up. Then the old lady called her real son and continued her rant.

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Yeah. I know the ore ore scam. I have gotten some calls before and kept the caller tied up a little. It is funny to read your stories... you know in cases like this, a clever person could string these people along pretty well, I would think. Once you get to the point where a guy is standing next to you at a bank, salivating for the transfer, I would think that the police could find an excuse to have a talk with him.

I used to do this with 419 scammers for fun. Many times law enforcement will not do much, so stringing them along and wasting their time and humiliating them is about the best a citizen can do. What is extremely interesting and a little exciting is to see the way that greed makes their victims stupid, but it also makes the criminals stupid. The 419 wire transfer scam relies upon someone thinking that they can get something for nothing. People fall for it all the time.

Your MIL's friend... well, I can't really suggest this to the mother of a police officer, but forming a vigilante group to go after companies and individuals who scam old people would be a great use of free time. Young people think old people are stupid and not tech-savvy. It might be nice to put a few rams in with the sheep to make the wolf think twice. Nothing is more fun than conning a con. If nothing else, just keeping full documentation of attempted scams would be a big help to police.

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by placing a life-sized 170-cm-tall cutout of a police officer

Life size? We all call him "shorty"! At least make him up to be man-sized, not pint-sized! LOL

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Great story, cleo. Good to know some will fight the scammers!

I'm not sure what this cutout will accomplish - as others have said there are already graphical warnings around many ATMs - but if something makes these elderly people think a bit more before getting scammed then it's a good thing.

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What I want to know is when they're going to put away all the cardboard cut-out politicians with the pre-recorded voices and show us the real ones.

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If someone is going to try to scam you, invite them over to pick up the cash and have some tea.

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