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Naha woman latest tax refund scam victim

Date Posted: 2007-11-12

An elderly Naha City woman, excited at the prospects of getting a tax refund from her health insurance fund, deposited ¥5.5 million into a bank account last week, only to discover she’d been lied to and her money routed to a scam artist’s account.
The 65-year-old woman took the actions after being told on the telephone she and her husband were entitled to a tax refund, but first then needed to make a deposit into a specified account. Without questioning the man, who had identified himself as a Social Welfare Office employee, she went to an ATM machine and made three deposits totaling ¥5.5 million, one right after the other. Upon returning home, she proudly told her husband about the call, at which point he became upset.
Telling his wife the Social Welfare Office would never make such a call, or such a demand, he reminded his wife there would be no reason to deposit money if the government was going to give them money. He called the Social Welfare Office, which confirmed it never makes telephone calls asking for money.
Police are now investigating, trying to track the account the money was deposited to. Police say there’ve been 1,600 cases of telephone fraud in the past year, with ¥1.82 billion in fraud involved.

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