crime

Police warn of bogus e-mails, phone calls seeking earthquake donations

20 Comments

Police and the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan said Thursday that bogus e-mails and telephone calls from groups claiming to be collecting donations for earthquake victims have been occurring across the country following the catastrophic series of earthquakes and the tsunami which struck the Tohoku region on March 11.

According to Yahoo! Japan, there have been several confirmed scam e-mails since March 13 claiming to be from Yahoo! inviting donations by bank transfer. A company spokesman said, "We strongly resent our name being used in this criminal activity and we have asked the police to take action. In the meantime, we would like to continue to warn people not to transfer money to bank accounts in spam e-mails. Yahoo! does not request donations in that manner."

There has been an increase in the number of spam e-mails that invite people to donate money for victim support by purchasing points. When recipients click on the link in the e-mail, they are taken to "deai" or matchmaking sites, which typically have a poor reputation in Japan and are commonly linked to advertising, scams, prostitution and pornography.

A spokesperson for the Communications Association of Japan said, "We urge people to disregard any unsolicited e-mail pertaining to earthquake relief and we want people to be aware that these e-mails are on the increase."

There has also been an increase in phishing sites that are designed to gather personal information. An anti-phishing council said that these sites have been on the increase since March 11 and often include the words "contribute" or "pray for Japan" in English. Such web pages then usually request that concerned visitors input their names and e-mail addresses.

Telephone bank transfer scams are being attempted, too, said police. In Okayama Prefecture, in the city of Tsuyama, on March 14, a woman in her 30s received a telephone call from a man claiming to be collecting money on behalf of the local government to send to affected areas. Okayama police said that was one of a number of similar calls.

A spokesperson for the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan said, "When donating money via an organization, please confirm the validity of the organization beforehand."

© Compiled from news reports

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

20 Comments
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Despicable but I'm not surprised. There are always vultures who see opportunities in a disaster. I saw three people standing on the street near my home yesterday, with a box for donations. They had some sign saying something like "Local neighborhood committee for raising funds for earthquake relief." Who knows if they were genuine or not?

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No surprise. You should see the sudden increase in the cost of potassium iodide pills online. Last month they sold for $14. Now they cost $399.

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horrible. make profit or steal money over victims is a crime that should be punished HARD. unfortunately nobody catches these bastids.

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Low life's would do such a thing

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Of couse!

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Yeah they should be made an Example.... Just the scammers.. Not the people selling products at a higher price... Look at Travel agents.. Holiday time prices double... But the scammers that call and email asking for money should get hard Jail time.... Very hard Jail time... So scammers think twice before they scam....

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I gave to the Red Cross through my bank. The Salvation Army is another trustable organization.

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The scum of this planet never pass up the opportunity for self-profit in a disaster, do they? I'm not giving to any organization without a trusted name, and even then the biggest donation I've made to date was through a bank (to the Red Cross).

Hopefully not too many people are duped.

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This is like robbing a bank and smiling for the camera and should be easy to chase down. I still think the country has held its own with no major crime...any other place you would get robbed on the street with forced donations or a cap in butt. Thing is with these guys...they know they're losers and that ultimately their prison sentence is their single room apt with a pile of mangas, a nasty ashtray and cockroaches.

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Internet Scams are the most difficult, These Vermin use layer upon layer to hide Best bet in Any case Pick a Reputable Charity Don't get sucked in by Vultures!

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Which is why donations should only be made through organisations like the Red Cross, Salvation Army etc.

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Can't believe people do this.. it's so sad.

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I gave to the Red Cross through my bank. The Salvation Army is another trustable organization.

Second that.

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I think I read in the IHT newspaper today something to the effect that for wealthy Japan (unlike Haiti after their recent disaster), collecting and delivering money is not such a high priority compared to just locating, sheltering, and getting basic supplies to the victims. Ask the scam artists if they want a case of water or bread instead of money and see their response.

This makes me wonder when someone will start collecting money for a crimefighting crusade against the scam artists.

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i hope they catch the sob's who do this and give them a hefty jail sentence.

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Wretched. Absolutely wretched.

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who and hell sends money through e-mail? do your research dammit!!!! only send your money to the Japan Red Cross!

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those who do such act, are the scum-bags, but one must always be vigilant, when tragic events occur, that's when the snakes appear/ SUPPORT those in need, JAPAN is our friend and we as people show our help to them, only give to trusted organizations who have be helping for long time: RedCross, Amercares,SaveChildre, these are very fine organization and do help, I've given my donations and wish to the people of Japan good will and those who lost live may RIP

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Yes, even in my country our government and non-governmental organizations have warn us to be wary of donations boxes/e-mails/sms by phone. Please give only to trusted organizations. I prefer to give food, things than money to victims but since Japan is so far away - I have to send Yen.

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Most of these emails are phishing tools. I received a twitter msg from one, and I reported it a.s.a.p-- I advise everyone to do the same. Donate to legitimate Japan sites like Red Cross and Save the Children.

A blog have featured the scam (including screenshots of these scam sites), check it out 'Opportunist Tactics In A Time of Crisis' business2community.com

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