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Japan is changing its yen bills soon, so beware of scam artists, government warns

18 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

There’s a big release date coming up in Japan on July 3. It’s not a new video game, anime series, or Japanese Frappuccino, though. It’s the day Japan’s new yen bills go into circulation.

The first redesign of Japan’s paper currency in 20 years is something the government announced back in 2019, and in fact the yen bills currently in use in Japan haven’t been printed since 2022. The new 1,000, 5,000, and 10,000-yen bills not only change up the dignitaries who appear on their front sides, but also have new artwork on their backs, including a reproduction of Japan’s most famous painting, The Great Wave off Kanagawa.

▼ Preview images of the new bills, with “SAMPLE” (見本) markings

Screenshot-2024-05-24-at-8.14.01.png
Image: Ministry of Finance

Less than two months before the new bills go into circulation, though, the Bank of Japan feels the time is right for a reminder about how currency updates work, and also a warning to beware of scam artists looking to take advantage of the situation, with the following statement made through the organization’s official Twitter account.

“Current-design bills can still be used even after the new bills have been issued, so there is no need to exchange your current bills for the new versions. Please be cautious of false claims that ‘Your current bills will become unusable’ and related fraud attempts.”

The worry is that scam artists will try to convince people that valid current-design cash is just worthless paper after the new bills go into circulation, and offer to exchange them for the new bills while charging a hefty handling or transaction fee in the process.

To money-savvy individuals, that might sound like something you’d have to be pretty gullible to fall for. However, with it having been 20 years since the last yen redesign, and another 20 since the one before that, there are a lot of people for whom this will be the first redesign since they’ve become adults who handle their own money, and their lack of experience might make them vulnerable, especially in a country where many transactions involve putting cash in a vending machine and are reliant on an internal, computerized process (the new bills actually do pose an issue for vending machines, but only because they’ll need updates in order to accept the new versions).

Fraudsters might also target senior citizens with reduced cognitive functions, and it’s possible scammers could also go after foreign tourists coming to Japan during the country’s unprecedented inbound travel boom by trying to convince them that the money they either brought with them or got at the currency exchange after arriving is no good.

So remember, whether you’ve got the new versions or the old ones, yen is yen, and anyone who tells you differently is trying to pull a fast one. Oh, and even though it isn’t pictured in the Bank of Japan’s tweet, the current 2,000-yen bill will remain legal tender too, even though it’s rare enough that the BOJ didn’t even bother to redesign it.

Source: Bank of Japan via IT Media

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Japan has stopped printing its current yen bills, Mt. Fuji only element to be retained in new set

-- The Bank of Japan is really jazzed up about the new 10,000 yen bill

-- Japanese ramen restaurants under pressure from new yen banknotes

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

18 Comments
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the perfect trap for anyone thinking they can hide their inheritance under the mattress.

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

“Current-design bills can still be used even after the new bills have been issued, so there is no need to exchange your current bills for the new versions. Please be cautious of false claims that ‘Your current bills will become unusable’ and related fraud attempts.”

As they often do, I feel the bureaucracy is patronizing the people of Japan.

Few people will fall for this scam.

On the other hand, when the BOJ tells people that its loose monetary QE policies are to "fight deflation and economic stagnation and will result result in a virtuous cycle of wage growth" instead of just helping boost the assets of large asset holders;

a large proportion of the residents of Japan are scammed.

Fraudsters might also target senior citizens with reduced cognitive functions, and it’s possible scammers could also go after foreign tourists coming to Japan during the country’s unprecedented inbound travel boom by trying to convince them that the money they either brought with them or got at the currency exchange after arriving is no good.

Nice grouping foreigners with the cognitively impaired.

Those scammers better brush up on their English or they won't get far!

-13 ( +8 / -21 )

beware of scam artists, government warns

But the government are the scam artists....

2 ( +20 / -18 )

Nice designs and Beautiful art work too. Glad to see new notes, just do us a favor and get rid of the ONE yen coin or replace it with real metals BCZ it feels so worthless.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

The BOJ should Print more of the 2000 yen bills, why have it if you not going to support it??

10 ( +12 / -2 )

They are to big. Don’t fit in a normal wallet.

-18 ( +1 / -19 )

They are to big.

The new bills are exactly the same size as the old ones, the same size they have been for the last 40 years.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

It's a viable scam. The Indian government demonetised some banknotes as a clumsy way of rooting out criminal stashes. It caused absolute havoc in 2016 (or around then). Banknotes are regularly demonetised. Thankfully the Japanese ones will not be, as I have a wallet of them. Including a Y2000 one. I've used Y2000 notes in Japan without any problems.

It's likely that miscreants will print their own entirely fake banknotes and offer to swop them for old real ones or offer them to tourists as the 'new' notes, for a smaller transaction fee than the currency changers.

Hopefully the new ones are not like the unpleasant polymer ones we now have in the UK.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

ChabbawangaToday  06:58 am JST

the perfect trap for anyone thinking they can hide their inheritance under the mattress.

Why? Whatever's under the mattress is still legal tender.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

The BOJ should Print more of the 2000 yen bills, why have it if you not going to support it??

They are common on Okinawa.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Well,with its current worth,I don't really see a problem.

Like Reichsmarks in the thirties,only good for making kites or origami.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

What is this fascination about issuing new notes all the time? Instead why not introduce a 2000 yen note, and actually promote its use this time?

And time to retire 1 and 5 yen coins. These have been useless for years now.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

What is this fascination about issuing new notes all the time?

What do you mean "all the time"? The last time was 20 years ago, and redesigning bills is not a "fascination" but an actual neccessity.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

the real question is why?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

with recent value of jpy we should have 20000 and 50000jpy notes as well.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

What's with the Japanese loving cash so much???

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

The BOJ should Print more of the 2000 yen bills, why have it if you not going to support it??

They are common on Okinawa.

That’s funny, in over thirty years of coming and going, never seen a single one.

I DID have a COUPLE of those ¥500 Commemorative Shuri Temple coins, still got one somewhere

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

With any transition in currency design, there is always a heightened risk of fraud, as criminals exploit the public's unfamiliarity with the new features. The Japanese government's proactive approach in warning citizens is commendable, as it aims to mitigate the risk of scams before they can proliferate. Public awareness campaigns and education are crucial in ensuring that people are informed about the new security features and can recognize legitimate currency.Moreover, this situation underscores the broader challenge of maintaining trust and security in a constantly evolving financial landscape. As technology advances, so too do the methods employed by fraudsters. It is imperative for governments and financial institutions to stay ahead of these threats through continuous innovation and public engagement.In conclusion, while the redesign of yen bills presents an opportunity to enhance security, it also necessitates vigilant efforts to protect the public from exploitation. The government's warning is a vital step in this direction, but ongoing education and robust security measures will be essential to safeguard against scams during this transition period.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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