crime

2 elderly people conned on 1st day of 'bank transfer fraud elimination month' despite police presence at ATMs

25 Comments

The Metropolitan Police Department on Thursday said two cases of bank transfer fraud were reported in Tokyo on Wednesday which was the first day of “bank transfer fraud elimination month," in which police officers were posted at about 1,000 ATMs in the Tokyo area, according to media reports.

The two cases occurred while police officers were standing nearby, but they were not aware of who the elderly victims were talking to on their cell phones, NHK reported. The two victims, bother elderly citizens, transferred 3.5 million yen to a bank account after receiving calls from persons purporting to be their relatives, asking for emergency funds, police said.

In two other unrelated cases, a group of men visited the homes of two women, aged 86 and 74, in Tokyo and stole 2 million yen by pretending to be delivery workers bringing items from their relatives.

An MPD official said, “These cases are clearly a challenge against our campaign. Although it makes the police look bad, we disclosed them as warning to potential victims." He also cautioned elderly people to make sure the person who calls them is really a relative, by calling them back.

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That's sad !!!

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The two cases occurred while police officers were standing nearby, but they were not aware of who the elderly victims were talking to on their cell phones, NHK reported.

Imagine that. Who could have seen that one coming? A fifth grader? Yes.

The only way to warn these old fools is to have suggestions appear after pushing the "transfer" button on the ATM. All it takes is one call to the relative. If that advice goes ignored, then there is no helping those people anyway.

This campaign is a waste of police resources, but probably better than being harassed by a cop who wants to see your bicycle registration. --Cirroc

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The only way to warn these old fools

One day you will get the old attached to your name and you too will be known as an old fool......

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What are these cowards going to do with the money ? Go to pachinko ? What kind of conscience do these people have ?

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Hey! I'm a relative you've never met and I need money fast! Please transfer 3 million yen to my account right away! Oh, and you can call me back at this number to make sure I'm real.

Duh ... hai!

Why not limit ATM transfers to a much smaller amount, say 100,000 Yen? If someone really needs to transfer a large amount they should have to go to a bank where a teller can help them (avoid fraud) and make legitimate transfers.

I wonder if the cops at these 2 ATMs were on their cell phones at the same time?

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An MPD official said, “These cases are clearly a challenge against our campaign. Although it makes the police look bad, we disclosed them as warning to potential victims.”

I think the J-cops are the biggest victims here. It's sad these monsters are preying on the elderly who have very little social skills after a life here, but clearly the so-called 'campaign' is doing nothing. The J-cops should be running a TV campaign during the NHK kareoke hour on Sunday afternoons. Then they are sure to get through to their target audience.

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In order for this campaign to work, there needs to be a cute talento or a cute mascot. If not, Japanese cannot relate.

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Why not limit ATM transfers to a much smaller amount, say 100,000 Yen?

most banks already do just that....

Also, when you open an account with a bank you need ID, so do the police not just track where the money is sent and go arrest them? Call me crazy, but probably a better to start I would think.

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I can see why these guys would want to con someone on the first day of a campaign -- just to prove they can do it. It's called "rising to the challenge."

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The conned are like a link to the trustworthy times still isolated enough to still expect trust from others, but unaware that outside their society it ain't like that. Even this darkness is growing in parts of Japan I suspect. Pity.

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Take the phones away from old people, it's obviously the root of the problem. Give them medical alerts and a GPS instead.

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I'm afraid the clueless naivety among many of the locals - especially the older generation - will always make them easy prey for con artists. A few months ago on TV there was a documentary about a guy who had been scammed by a "girlfriend" who pretended he had made her pregnant. He himself was the victim of a fairly elaborate and well-planned fraud. His parents, on the other hand, were pushovers. The girl had never met them before, but she just turned up at their house one day, anounced that she was carrying their son's baby and without even checking with him, they gave her 400 000 yen!

Rather than station cops around ATMs, there should be a campaign to educate old people that the crime-free Japan they thought they had is gone forever (if it ever existed at all) and that the place is now as full of crooks as the rest of the world.

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there should be a campaign to educate old people that the crime-free Japan they thought they had is gone forever

Scamming old folks isnt a Japanese thing, its a world thing.. As people get older they try hard not to seem they are getting older, so if they dont remember a face or a name they try to act like they do so no one will think they are forgetting, or they just dont remember well. Blaming it on the old folks is like blaming a newborn for what its mother does, it just isnt right. I have seen both of my grandmothers get scammed by someone (one was a stranger the other was a family member) and they just didnt understand that the person was taking advantage of them, not before not during and not after...... Its truely sad that people prey on the weak, but it is the way of most predators......

The cops are use less, you have to set up their account so they have to go inside for anything over 50000 yen

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stupid old goats. It would not surprise me if it was actually their nieces and nephews, or grandchildren who were ripping them off. How do the crims know they have cash? Inside job, thats how.

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" The two cases occurred while police officers were standing nearby, but they were not aware of who the elderly victims were talking to on their cell phones "

Classic! We could have told them. What a ridiculous symbolic exercise.

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Surely, if these are electronic transfers, the recipient can be traced in a moment? But what was that idiom about x and his money are soon parted?

Just as well we have to revere these people for being so wise, eh?

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bet they already gave a few million to the old "ore! Ore!" shysters

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I bet the cops are the ones who do it. The cops at the ATMs were there checking that the transfers were being made.

Good story about the pregnant girlfriend Schoolboyerror. I think we could do something like this saying we are their son's gay boyfriend and am moving into town to be closer to him. that is unless I had more money to move to Tokyo....

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Why not limit ATM transfers to a much smaller amount, say 100,000 Yen?

How about just for those who are over 60? I see no reason to burden us all because some old people are far too trusting.

Another campaign idea would be for relatives to take more responsibility for the oldies' bank accounts. Sure, some might get ripped off by their own relatives, but its more traceable. --Cirroc

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You can call it as 'ATMPHOBIA,' which is now all over the world. You are not secured with cash and now even with plastic card. The two cases occurred while police officers were standing nearby... What’s wrong with your cosp Japan? Are they just looking for a good legs walking around, or short skirts perhaps? Their eyes should be on ATMs, constantly. That is part of their duty; to protect public, bank and ATM machines. 'Is that right?'

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Wottock Hunt:

" Surely, if these are electronic transfers, the recipient can be traced in a moment? "

Traced where? The scammers open bank accounts with fake names. That is course where this scam should addressed. And not by putting lots Inspector Closeaus next to ATMs.

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God, what a waste of manpower. What on Earth could these cops do anyway?

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Freeze bank accounts that are the recipients of money via fraud. Is this too easy or what? But in Japan it'd take an act of Parliament and we all know how slow that goes in Japan.

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Nippon5, of course ripping off the elderly happens everywhere. I just think that Japanese old people are particularly easy targets with the view a lot of them still hold that Japanese is virtually crime-free and the crime there is here is committed by foreigners.

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Freeze bank accounts that are the recipients of money via fraud. Is this too easy or what?

Any time you start talking about freezing bank accounts, the politcal elites get nervous.

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