TOKYO (TR) – Fukuoka prefectural police on Tuesday arrested seven suspects for allegedly registering nonexistent users on an Internet matchmaking site, reports the Sankei Sports (Jan. 16).
Officers from the prefecture’s anti-cybercrime division took Keiichiro Yokomizo, 37, the former president of Garage Inc., and six employees into custody for defrauding 45 members of the deai-kei (or encounter) dating site Deai BBS out of 85 million yen.
Yokomizo has reportedly denied the allegations. “I didn’t cheat anyone,” he is quoted by the Nikkei Shimbun (Jan. 16).
Deai BBS had 120,000 male and female members on its books. Since its establishment in 2005, the site generated two billion yen in revenue. According to police, the majority of its users consisted of sakura, or fake, profiles fabricated by company employees.
The fake members would post short messages on the site’s bulletin board to encourage conversation. The site operated on a point system, in which one point cost 10 yen. To send a message to another user would cost 45 points.
One victim, a 25-year-old male from Fukui Prefecture, was allegedly defrauded out of 160,000 yen between February 5 and March 24 of last year. A Kanagawa man, over the age of 70, was swindled out of 10 million yen, while a woman in her 30s from Aichi Prefecture lost 20 million yen.