crime

Woman outwits phone scammer pretending to be her son

36 Comments

Police in Tokyo have arrested a 20-year-old man for attempting to swindle money from an elderly woman in a phone scam. 

The 20-year-old suspect contacted the woman, who is in her 70s, by phone at around 3 p.m. on Aug 12 and pretended to be her son, Fuji TV reported. The woman managed to avoid the scam by consulting with family members beforehand about what to do if she should receive a suspicious phone call.

According to police, Toshihiko Nishibayashi conspired with a friend in the scam. When Nishibayashi’s friend contacted the woman, saying he was her son and needed money, she deliberately called him by her husband’s name instead of her son. When the man failed to point out the mistake, his cover was blown. 

The caller said he would send a colleague to the house to collect the money. The woman immediately reported the call to the police. When Nishibayashi showed up as the “colleague,” he was apprehended by police.

Police said he has admitted to the scam and quoted him as saying did it because he didn’t have any money.

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36 Comments
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such a numb nut, where do these people get the audacity to try and pull of stupid tricks like this. god only knows

28 ( +31 / -3 )

Unfortunately this would only work with the amateurs that do this without any experience, for organized scammers there is no real risk because they would not go in person to collect the money.

23 ( +27 / -4 )

Why doesn't he get a job then instead of stealing peoples money.

19 ( +22 / -3 )

Woman outwits phone scammer pretending to be her son

That's only one case and there are plenty unsolved cases since there more 10 thousand cases each year. Usually those who being caught only amateur copycat.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/02/21/national/crime-legal/damages-petty-fraud-scams-japan-fourth-straight-year/

5 ( +7 / -2 )

This ore ore phone scam never gets old in the news.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Scamers must be in jail !!..

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Police said he has admitted to the scam and quoted him as saying did it because he didn’t have any money.

He didn’t have intelligence as well. You’re 20 fool. Get a job. Get two. Or maybe, at least read a book or something.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

"where do these people get the audacity to try and pull of stupid tricks like this"

I seen a few parked on rent a bikes, just dialing away, they target expensive areas where elderly women live alone. They have old ate up jp men as look outs-probably yak connected. but the stones prefer to profile nonjs as they ride right by the ore ore dweeb/geek looking parasites.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The old girl pulled one back.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

"Police said he has admitted to the scam and quoted him as saying did it because he didn’t have any money."

so vendor your rump in shinjuku.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Has anyone wondered where these scammers get the phone numbers of seniors? After all, that's different than automated phone calls offering all sorts of overpriced garbage where you know the entire range of phone numbers for a particular region so you just dial.

And another interesting thing is that the providers, although they have the tools to do so, do not block these incoming numbers (the argument about number masking or number spoofing is wrong).

Obviously there must be a leak of these numbers from somewhere, like a database and/or inadequate security/protection of personal data.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

This is routine if you have a landline in the U.S. but I have tried but have yet to pull off reeling one in as this lady has done. Mostly they want a cash card number which doesn't allow the 'visit'. Amateurs!

where do these people get the audacity to try and pull of stupid tricks like this

When does a psychopath need 'audacity', parasites do these things as a matter of their normal behavior. And it's easier on both perp and victim than a mugging or home invasion which is their next choice. Remember, the estimate for clinical psychopaths is 1-2% of all Human live births scattered across the 'class' structure but concentrated most in the 'upper' and 'lower' 'classes' of the hierarchy, in all cases parasites and whose most salient characteristic is said to be "a warm and friendly personality". See: Dr Robert Hare, Canadian Psychiatrist who wrote the PCL-R, the currently used test for psychopathy.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There are businesses that call up asking if you have anything to sell, old gold, stereo equipment and so on. They seem to target an area. I have always suspected these organisations of being dodgy. They target an area, and I suspect they or their employees select houses for a follow-up scam.

Over 90% of landline calls seem to be selling something or dodgy in some other way.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The old "What's wrong with Wolfie?" trick from Terminator 2.

Nice one.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Unfortunately this would only work with the amateurs that do this without any experience, for organized scammers there is no real risk because they would not go in person to collect the money.

There are lots of money mules who know what they are doing is illegal, but they still get the money at the direction of a supervisor, then take just their payment out and deliver the remaining cash to the supervisor. https://youtu.be/VrKW58MS12g shows how some people work with police to catch the key people in an organization.

Around here, they have the patsy fedex cash to an AirB&B location and have someone waiting outside to accept the package. The mules can get 2-9 pickups a day, outside different locations. Some of the people are taken for $20K-$80K.

Who keeps that sort of money easily available in a personal account?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Has anyone wondered where these scammers get the phone numbers of seniors? After all, that's different than automated phone calls offering all sorts of overpriced garbage where you know the entire range of phone numbers for a particular region so you just dial.

The scammers sell their list of numbers, names, and background information, since someone who falls for 1 scam is likely to fall for another. Besides that, either sequential or random dialing isn't hard for a $150 computer. I think it is worse in English speaking countries because people can call into a different country and have very little risk of ever being caught. Arrests are so unlikely that when a local call-center finally gets raided, chances are the owners were pre-warned by law enforcement and have left the province.

In some countries with millions of English speakers, the corruption in local law enforcement runs deep. Just pay them a little every month to get warned.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Who keeps that sort of money easily available in a personal account?

Boomers.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

well not so smart "scammer" to be honest...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The woman managed to avoid the scam by consulting with family members beforehand about what to do if she should receive a suspicious phone call.

When Nishibayashi’s friend contacted the woman, saying he was her son and needed money, she deliberately called him by her husband’s name instead of her son. When the man failed to point out the mistake, his cover was blown. 

Does she not know what her own son's voice sounds like?

The fact that so many people are fooled by this old, well-known scam boggles the mind.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

"Obviously there must be a leak of these numbers from somewhere, like a database and/or inadequate security/protection of personal data."

As such i.e.:

https://japantoday.com/category/tech/t-mobile-confirms-data-breach-says-it%27s-investigating-scope

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Outwitted them? Yeah it's called putting the phone down.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Had to recently remind my 83 year old mother that every call you get that is not from the drug store, your doctor's office or a contact in your phone is a scam.

I on the other hand will sometimes play along if I have a drink in hand and just feel like wasting these scumbag's time.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I’m always amazed by how detached families are in this country.

All it would take my mom to figure out it wasn’t me speaking on the phone is a syllable.

Dementia apart, I don’t see how anybody would fall for this dumb trick.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Thousands of cases a year?

And here is me thinking Japanese are honest….

4 ( +5 / -1 )

LOL. You're only 20. Go get a job,! Lazy bum.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As witty as it may appear, and how great the outcome in this case; one wonders if something could have gone wrong and the general best course of action is to just hang up on them.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why doesn't he get a job then instead of stealing peoples money.

"Get a job" is terrible financial advice unless you're into thinly veiled slavery. The alternative should be starting a business rather than stealing, though.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"Get a job" is terrible financial advice unless you're into thinly veiled slavery. The alternative should be starting a business rather than stealing, though.

How do you start a business without money? How do you get money without a job?

This comment reminds me of when a rich right-winger, when asked about how people in poverty should get out of it, said they should start a business with a $20k loan from their parents. Completely clueless as to the real world.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

So, it appears that a few scammers have found this thread and decided to down vote people showing information to avoid their efforts.

Older people tend to be more trusting than younger people AND have more assets. When 20 yr olds have 1B yen, then they will be targeted. The woman in this story was clever and has her full mental abilities. Not all older people are so trusting. The trick for all humans is to be trusting of the people who deserve it and not trust everyone else. That is made more difficult over the phone or internet when people may claim to be a "neighbor", but really are located on the other side of the world.

In general, we don't answer calls from numbers not already in our addressbook. They can leave a message if it is important. Anyone who doesn't leave a message on the first call is probably a scammer. Do that for a year and the calls really drop off. Thing we get about 10 scam calls a year now. For fun, I'll screw around with scammers if I have time. Time a human wastes on me is time they aren't harming others. Wasting their time is bad for business. I also like remotely crashing their computer, if I can. It isn't always possible, but when it is ... they seem to quickly need to call me back later, which gives me time to setup a virtual machine to keep them busy while ... well let's just say having fun.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Simple, get the caller ID option about 400JPY/mth , input the phone numbers of your family and friends, IGNORE all others, end of story.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Smart woman. That is the way to deal with this scammer scum. High-five to her!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I would say this to the caller:

"I don't care if you're my son or a complete stranger since my answer is the same. In this house, money flows one way--from the young to the old--and NO other way! So go out there and make some money!"

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Caller IDs can be spoofed. It may or my not be illegal, but people from other countries don't care. It is just a field that can have whatever data we like in it. I've been running VoIP systems for over 20 yrs, callerID is just a comment field and seldom validated. There are some very good reasons this is the situation (insurance/banks/hospital companies want to show their toll-free number when calling clients, not the actual number of that exact phone), but it can also be abused by the "bad guys."

BTW, just like callerID is a comment, so are the "FROM" in emails. Want an email from dog@heaven.co.jp? Not hard though the email server for that domain does have good SPF records to make it easy for other email servers to see that email NOT from their 2 specific email servers is spam.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well done, love!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Does she not know what her own son's voice sounds like?

Many older folk suffer hearing loss that doesn't necessarily affect volume. When we phone my MiL, we have to say who we are because she cannot distinguish voices.

Some local authorities will put an anti-scamming device on your phone if you ask them; when someone calls it announces that the call is being recorded by the police (and it does record the call). Seems to put most scammers off.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

She did very well! A shrewd way to catch that gaki out!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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