TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have busted a fraud group based in Itabashi Ward that defrauded individuals over the telephone after learning of its existence via blocked plumbing, reports Nippon News Network (Oct. 26).
On October 25, Katsumi Otani, 31, and Takashi Kurosaki, 27, allegedly attempted to defraud an 81-year-old man in Setagaya Ward out of between one million yen and two million yen by posing as his son on the telephone.
“At the hospital my bag was stolen,” one of the suspects claimed in carrying out a scam known as “it’s me fraud,” or ore ore sagi. “Since a bank check was inside, this will be a problem if nothing is done about it.”
Both suspects deny the charges.
Police believe the ring utilized similar means to defraud at least four victims out of a total of 16 million yen since May.
Police began an investigation in August after learning that the plumbing inside a building in Adachi Ward that housed the ring’s headquarters was suffering from blockages. The source of the problem was that members of the ring had been flushing shredded memorandums and registers of names down the toilet in an effort to destroy evidence prior to moving the office to Itabashi, according to the Sankei Shimbun (Oct. 26).