crime

People in Japan can now earn ¥10,000 bounties for scamming scammers

20 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

The “ore ore scam” is one of the oldest cons in Japan, and it starts when a crook calls a senior citizen on the phone and says “Ore da,” or “It’s me.” The plan is that the target will mistake the scammer for a son or grandson, and should they ask “Who is this?” the scammer will employ guilt tactics, saying, “What? It’s me! You recognize my voice, don’t you?”

The next step is for the scammer to tell the target that he needs money, and fast, usually to help smooth over some mistake at work. “I lost a briefcase with company money in it, and if I don’t pay it back right away, they’re going to fire me,” is a common story, for example. Invariably, though, the son/grandson isn’t able to pick the money up in person, and says either that a coworker (actually a criminal accomplice) will meet the target somewhere to pick up the money, or tell the target a bank account number to transfer the money into.

It’s a despicable deception that preys on Japanese societal values of familial and professional responsibility, and every year Japanese seniors are defrauded out of millions and millions of yen by it. But as of this month, there’s now a way for law-abiding Japanese people to actually make money from ore ore scams instead.

On May 1, the Minami Precinct of the Aichi Prefectural Police, which serves and protects the city of Nagoya’s Minami Ward, launched a new aspect of Operation Pretend to Be Fooled. This new crime-fighting program asks people who’ve been contacted by someone claiming to be a loved one in need of cash to notify the police, then work with them to draw the scammer out. For each case in which their cooperation leads to the identification of scammers, the original target of the scam will be paid 10,000 yen.

The Aichi police crated the system following a recent increase in ore ore scams in the prefecture, though currently it’s only residents of Minami Ward that are eligible for the crime-fighting bounties, which are funded by the Nagoya Minami Ward Crime Prevention Association. A Minami Precinct spokesman said that in addition to leading to the apprehension of criminals, they hope that the program, which is being promoted with local signs and posters, will help raise awareness of ore ore scams and encourage people to be more vigilant about demanding proper identification from anyone asking for a stack of cash over the phone.

Sources: Asahi Shimbun Digital via Yahoo! Japan News via Otakomu

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

20 Comments
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Unless the police actually employ undercover grannies with bank books dangling from their purses I don't see how this is going to lead to more arrests. I know it sounds harsh but maybe, just like getting a diver's license is harder when your eyes begin to fade, bank transactions by the elderly should be given greater scrutiny...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

What ever happened to Caller ID, or give me your number and my kid will call you back, or busy now let me call you back. for 400 JPY / mth. people can have a caller ID option on their hardline phones, and if a family or friend name is not displayed then do the obvious, IGNORE it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Probably the main (only) benefit from this is the publicity, scammers are not going to expose themselves to any risk, and it is simple just to drop a potential victim that appears to be trying to drag them out.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Phone scams. Global victims and global perpetrators.

https://www.interpol.int/News-and-Events/News/2020/More-than-20-000-arrests-in-year-long-global-crackdown-on-phone-and-Internet-scams

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It’s a despicable deception that preys on Japanese societal values of familial and professional responsibility, and every year Japanese seniors are defrauded out of millions and millions of yen by it. But as of this month, there’s now a way for law-abiding Japanese people to actually make money from ore ore scams instead.

Some people do this to Nigerian 419 and Indian scammers online for Youtube views.

How about the police offering a bounty for reporting and gathering evidence on "black companies" in Japan? That would be of great help to people caught in these situations whose wages have been stolen.

Unfortunately, they seem very reluctant to investigate these cases.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Seems a good idea but I hope nobody gets falsely convicted

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Unfortunately, they seem very reluctant to investigate these cases.

Because they don't want to be compared to Nigeria and India.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Should be more like ¥100,000.

You take risks trying to catch a criminal. If you do the police’s job, you should get more.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Anything is better than nothing.

My partners grandmother fell for the futon scam. They took four futons(¥400000) and said they will wash them and return for ¥1000 the next day.

next day they returned and handed her an extremely wrapped parcel and took ¥1000 and quickly disappeared. When she opened it, inside was a couple of old second hand dirty futons.

police said they can’t do anything because she has dementia.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It is quite an obvious idea. I have long wondered why not more people who recognize the ore ore call play along a bit and then either have the police wait when the scammer comes to pick up the money or at least take a photo of the perp.

There is already a whole sub-culture of scam baiters who do that with the Nigerian 491 scammers. The wholy grail is to scam the scammer into sending you money.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Happened to me ,I told them in Japanese that I had a mobile phone and would be pleased to take a photo of them at the Genkan, not only that I wanted to see their Kuruma so I could take a picture of that too !! I never saw them !!!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

brian smith

Happened to me ,I told them in Japanese that I had a mobile phone and would be pleased to take a photo of them at the Genkan

You should have waited for them to come and then take the photo at the genkan. It is too easy for them to just drop you if you warn them like you did.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Its about time these pieces of scum were locked up, they cause so much misery to people, on YouTube the other day I watched a IT guy hack back into a scammers computer, its so funny! https://youtu.be/o2ixj0m4F_E

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Here in the US, there's a scam where you get an American Joe robocall announcing that you have a warrant for your arrest "due to a Department of Social Security Administration something-or-other". Generally you hang up, but if you get mad and you press 'one' for English like I did, you wind up with some guy in Bangladesh named 'Steve'.

If you get through to 'Steve' and you ask him how he likes his job, and if when he has to take a bathroom break, the office has a bathroom, or if he just goes outside and releases his bowel onto the sidewalk like his mother does every morning, 'Steve' will get quite angry. He'll slam some things around on his desk and shout in some exotic language.

Then, 'Steve' will hang up, but afterward he'll put your number on a SPECIAL list for jerks that should be robocalled upwards of 50 times per day. You will get bombarded with calls to no end.

Moral of the story: Don't engage those guys.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@captind,r your right its called a "suckers list" its for people who get conned into buying health pills, and rubbish thats sold over the phone. when you get these sort of phone calls tell them to take you off the sucker list, and surprisingly they dont phone you.

con artist phones police station: https://youtu.be/Shp3Kd_HGEU

2 ( +2 / -0 )

CaptDingleheimer

Here in the US, there's a scam where you get an American Joe robocall announcing that you have a warrant for your arrest "due to a Department of Social Security Administration something-or-other". Generally you hang up, but if you get mad and you press 'one' for English like I did, you wind up with some guy in Bangladesh named 'Steve'.

That particular scam seems to be run out of India (same as the "your computer is infected" scams). Looks like different countries have specialized in different scam types. But fundamentally they are all the same.... get people to believe a story and send money.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I would want a bit more than Y10,000 if I'm going to be responsible for taking down a few local Yaks.

Most of this will happen manually with banknotes, as elderly people are not leading the online banking revolution. Japanese folk tend to have a lot of banknotes stashed away - this is what the criminals are after.

In the UK, bank staff are trained to question the elderly if they make large withdrawals of cash and call the police if they are worried. Most ATMs take photos of those using them and anyone standing next to them. UK banks are closing branches at a rate of knots, so the opportunity to intervene is being eroded.

Cruel, callous phone scams are a real problem targeting the elderly. Governments should build more jails and put criminals in them for much longer periods. The threat of several years inside might put off a few of them, rather than the feeble sentences they usually get. Whilst they are inside, they cannot con anyone.

We also need a right to self defence. If someone is conning us, threatening us or robbing us, we should be allowed to hit them with something handy to stop them. It shouldn't matter whether that gives them a headache or puts them in a morgue. We shouldn't have to worry about being prosecuted as we are being victimised. The law should accept that they are the criminal, and that the consequences of any altercation are entirely their fault. The law should go out of its way to protect the victims of crime, if necessary, at the expense of perpetrators. Criminals are human waste. If we accidentally flush one whilst protecting ourselves from them, it shouldn't be a problem.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In Japan the government takes 10% of the cost of your food-scammers?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Raise that bounty and watch these "ore ore" cases greatly diminish out of fear of getting caught!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@GBR48, I completely agree with increasing the reward. I would not want the associates of these criminal gangs coming back to visit me afterwards, or the scammers themselves coming back after they are released from jail. 80 Euros is far too small for THAT kind of future trouble.

Mrs. Affist's father had to sign and hanko-stamp a document at the bank when he withdrew a significant amount of cash, stating it would be used for his grandchildren's college. This was not intended, however, as a protection against scammers but against senior citizens depleting their accounts (or transferring them away) prior to their deaths and the chance for the government to take a significant amount from the estate. Nevertheless, the scammers highly prefer to find elderly who have their cash at home rather than in the banks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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