TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have made four arrests in the bust a fraud ring whose headquarters shifted from various mountain cottages in Yamanashi Prefecture, reports NHK (Sept. 28).
Since July of 2014, the ring is believed to have swindled about 300 persons out of 200 million yen in frauds that prey on elderly victims by posing as relatives in distress on the telephone, a scam known as ore ore sagi, or “it’s me” fraud.
On September 27, Manabu Morohoshi, 29, and the other suspects allegedly conspired to pose as a son of a woman in Higashi-Osaka City on the telephone and request 3 million yen in cash to cover an accidental pregnancy.
Morohoshi, who has been accused of attempted fraud, has declined to comment on the allegations, telling the Totsuka Police Station that he wishes to speak to a lawyer. The other three suspects deny the allegations.
According to police, the headquarters existed inside a number of summer resort cottages around the area, including at the edge of a lake and the mouth of a river.
During a raid at its most recent location, police seized high school yearbooks, primarily from institutions in the Kansai area, containing tens of thousands of names.