KYOTO (TR) – While love, as they say, is blind no such warning exists about engaging in relationships for profit. Though, if evening tabloid Nikkan Gendai (Apr. 3) is an indication, perhaps caveat emptor will suffice.
As a part of a joint investigation, Kyoto and Aichi prefectural police last month arrested a arrested a 48-year-old man who is believed to have swindled nearly 100 women in so-called “mistress contract” scams.
Upon his initial arrest in early March, Yoshikazu Fujiwara, of no known occupation, told police that he targeted dozens of women on deai-kei matchmaking sites in fraudulently obtaining access to their bank accounts.
In one case, Fujiwara promised a woman, then 22 and living in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward, payments of 200,000 yen if she agreed to meet him for romantic encounters three or four times each month.
In carrying out the ruse, the suspect suggested during meetings conducted between April 21 and June 7 of last year that she open an internet bank account to “facilitate payment” of the compensation. He then tricked her into providing access to the account, including the use of a cash card.
An investigator tells tells Gendai that he was stunned to learn that Fujiwara successfully pulled the same scam on more than 90 women over a two-year period.
“The suspect resold the cards [obtained from the women] to a fraud ring,” the source says. “The group used the cards on internet shopping sites and in money transfer scams.”
As with the woman in Shinjuku, Fujiwara met with the victims on multiple occasions. “He built trust by enjoying meals with the targets several times,” the investigator says.
“No shortage of women”
Writer Fumiaki Tada, who covers unscrupulous business practices, says there is no shortage of women who are interested in engaging in agreements in which they are compensated for dates.
“They think there is more security in earning 200,000 yen per month for three or four meetings as opposed to 10 sessions at 20,000 yen per pop,” he says. “Men know about the existence of tsutsumotaze” — or honey traps — “but women have no such apprehensions when getting involved in sex-related relationships.”
Tada also believes that an obsession with the smartphone on the part of young women is also a factor, saying that a focus on games and entertainment news is bringing down their defenses. “I think that frauds related to mistress contracts will only increase in the future,” he says.