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Man arrested for scamming millions of yen with complaints of soggy bread

By RocketNews24

Tokyo police have arrested a man for making fraudulent complaints about damp sliced bread and raking in an estimated 30 million yen from unsuspecting retailers in the process.

The media have described Takashi Ishimoto, 53, as “unemployed”, but “full-time hustler” might be a more appropriate title. The Chuo Ward resident’s reported plan was alarmingly simple but relied on an amazing amount of audacity to pull off.

In the crime that led to his arrest, Ishimoto contacted a retailer who carried bread in Adachi Ward. Posing as a former customer, he complained that the sliced bread he had purchased there was soggy. Afterwards, he would contact the same store, this time pretending to be someone from their own head office. The fake authority figure would request that they bring him “some replacement bread and all the cash they took in for the day as an apology to the customer.”

In this instance, Ishimoto was suspected of getting 300,000 yen, and worse, two new loaves of fluffy, dry sliced bread. Reports don’t specify how he exactly managed to convince the store he was both the customer and company employee, but he must have used a combination of phone, email, and/or in-person visits.

Police say that Ishimoto admitted to the charges and upon further investigation have linked him to a series of cons with the same MO five years ago. They estimate those losses to be around 27 million yen. Anpanman only knows how many free loaves the scoundrel absconded with as well during that time.

Readers in Japan had this to say about the incident:

“That’s genius.” “Well, there’s a new way to make money.” “That’s one professional unemployed guy.” “Why would they even bring the day’s sales?!” “Is the world getting stupider?” “Why wouldn’t they ask for some ID before handing the money over?”

Source: TBS News/Yahoo! Japan News

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At least he did not cut or kill any one ... bread and money are replaceable.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Jerks like this are just one reason why customer service can get worse.

I'm just happy that Japan still values product consisntency and quality, and will do what it takes to ensure it deleivers as promised.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Wow, really quite ingenious. He seems to have exploited two aspects of Japanese culture, firstly the desire to quickly sweep anything embarrassing or uncomfortable under the rug and secondly the reluctance to question authority no matter how ridiculous or unreasonable the order.

20 ( +22 / -2 )

I'm waiting for the free-market (mythical, I know) uber alles crowd to chime in here and say which side they're on: the entrepreneurial scammer just out to make a buck, or the store owner, and then hear them decry the socialism (a pejorative when government doesn't serve their needs) used to resolve the issue.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

He should have a website promising to make you lots of money.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Nobody move. This is a stickup. Kind of. Gimme all the bread you got. Especially the soggy stuff."

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Man shall not live by soggy bread alone...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

all the cash they took in for the day as an apology

I bet somebody got fired for that one

5 ( +5 / -0 )

That's how bread is normally sold in Japan though. I wonder the shops didn't thank him for paying them the compliment!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Wonder what he did with the bread?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He has to return the dough.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

The fake authority figure would request that they bring him “some replacement bread and all the cash they took in for the day as an apology to the customer.”

Only in japan, where the customer is god.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

unbelievable. retailer just released the money so easily.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Catch Me If You Can.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I guess he won't be the bread winner in his family anymore ;)

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I say put him on the bread and water diet in prison.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

**** well, bread is the staff of life. He sounds like a real breadwinner.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Only in japan, where the customer is god

Give me the EU's robust yet common sense consumer protection any day. This guy just struck lucky with a very naive store manager (?) who swallowed an incredibly baseless order to hand over the till contents.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He got away with that simplistic scam for 5 years?

That really speaks to how blissfully naive this country still is. I love it. Like living in Norman Rockwell picture.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

thats about £145,000 and all the free bread too, well fair play to the guy! but the law of averages will catch up with you sooner than latter, and was he getting state benefit, if so is he going to have to pay it all back to the state and what about the bread company or the shop retailers? are they going to want there money back?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

and what about the bread company or the shop retailers? are they going to want there money back?

I'm pretty sure they'll be kneading the dough.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Wow this guy made a lot of bread from bread.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Go easy on him fellas...the guys just trying to make a bit of crust.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I guess man cannot live by bread alone.... because the bread always falls on the buttered side!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What he did was bad but.... Gotta admit that was a pretty impressive MO

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"At least he did not cut or kill any one ... "

Good grief! Most people haven't cut or killed anyone, nor have ever cheated people out of their money! This criminal needs to be severely punished!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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