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Tokyo cops continue crackdown on fraud rings targeting elderly

Mao Kasai
Mao Kasai (Fuji News Network)

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police this week continued its ongoing crackdown on fraud groups whose members target elderly victims over the telephone.

In September of last year, Masao Kasai is allegedly to have fraudulently obtained the bank card of a woman in Shinjuku Ward, aged in her 80s. The card was then used to withdraw 500,000 yen in cash.

According to police, a person posing as a representative of the Financial Services Agency on the telephone falsely told the woman that she was required to have a new bank card issued since her name was possibly on a register used by a fraud ring.

It is suspected that Kasai is a part of a 10-member ring that has swindled about 20 people out of around 10 million yen.

The month before, Ryuya Sayama, a 23-year-old member of another fraud group, allegedly attempted to collect 2 million yen in cash from a woman in her 70s living in Yokohama.

A person posing as her son falsely told the elderly woman that he had gotten a married woman pregnant and needed money for an out-of-court settlement.

Since June of last year, the group, which is believed to have more than 20 members, likely swindled about 50 persons out of around 30 million yen.

On the rise

A fraud in which a person is swindled via the telephone is called a “special fraud.” Last week, the National Police Agency revealed that the number of cases rose to 18,201 in 2017, an increase of 28.6 percent over the year before. The latter figure represents the seventh straight annual increase.

Given the recent rise, police are now requesting that financial institutions take measures to prevent against such frauds.