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Unsolicited email leads to adult porno sites

Date Posted: 2005-01-20

Overly trusting Okinawans are responding to an email scam that hooks them to expensive pornographic sites.

Scam artists are sending email to people with innocent comments line “Hey friend, I’ve changed my hair” or “I’ll wait for you.” The initial short email leads to the followup, which has a “click here” notice.

People do, and it takes them to adult internet sites. Later, an expensive invoice arrives at the unsuspecting victim’s home. In one case, a victim paid a ¥1,000,000 invoice in the scam.

The Prefecture Consumer Life Center is now warning people to “Please be careful. You don’t have to pay for fraud email. If you don’t have a contract or agreement, you don’t need to pay at all.” Officials say if an invoice comes, check it carefully and if you don’t know what it is for, call the telephone. Consumers can also call the Consumer Life Center at 098-863-9214.

The Consumer Life Center’s been busy fielding complaints in recent months. It registered a 113% increase in complaints, with 2,845 cases coming from consumers. Officials say 80% of those complaints were from short email fraud scandals.

What makes them more troublesome is that the telephone line email is being used, instead of typical internet addresses. The swindlers know the telephone bills must be paid, and that it’s more difficult to block incoming phone email. Officials warn that people should not click the adult site line on the email, because they’ll typically receive an invoice costing ¥50,000~150,000. Some people pay without thinking, an official says, simply paying their phone bill without reviewing the charges.

One scam line is to tell the recipient “You need to register the number. For this you need ¥5,000. “ Once on the hook, the crooks ask for personal information about schools, family, friends, names, etc.

Prefecture officials urge the public to never give out private information to anyone, and to never pay a phone bill that you know isn’t correct.

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