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Tokyo cops: Group stole over ¥30 million posing as anti-fraud officials

Tetsuya Matsushita
Tetsuya Matsushita led a fraud ring whose members posed as anti-fraud officials

TOKYO (TR) – A fraud ring posing as anti-fraud officials stole over 30 million yen from victims throughout Japan, police said on Thursday.

Tokyo Metropolitan Police arrested Tetsuya Matsushita, 34, and two associates for allegedly attempting to steal money from an elderly woman by posing as anti-fraud police over the phone and asking her to pay fees, reports TBS News (Feb. 9).

Matsushita is believed to be the leader of the group, which defrauded victims over the phone through a money transfer scam.

From an apartment residence in Tokyo, the men called the woman in her 80s in Niigata Prefecture and said, “This is the money transfer fraud countermeasure call center,” and claimed the woman was listed on a register before asking her to pay a fee in cash to resolve her case.

Matsushita is denying the charges, but police are investigating the possibility that he stole over 30 million men from victims throughout the nation using the same scheme since April 2016.

Police in numerous prefectures are warning citizens to be on alert for scammers posing as anti-wire fraud call centers run by police officials.

Police officials from such call centers will never ask for cash payments or credit card information, according to the web site for the Kanagawa Prefectural Police anti-wire fraud call center.