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Banks warning against money transfer scams

Date Posted: 2008-05-02

Con men are at it again, and the Union of Prefecture Banks is issuing warnings to consumers that the current crop is very clever and dangerous.

The fraud groups are employing a couple different tricks to part unsuspecting individuals from the money in their bank accounts. In one scheme, the con artists ask the person contacted to provide their ID number, which permits money to be scammed out of an account. A bank official says the con men are slick. “Please never transfer money before talking to your family or the bank.”

The banks union says “If any suspicious phone calls come in, please let police know.” A spokesman says “sometimes fraud groups even use the government’s name, like the Social Health Center, or Pension Center, when asking someone to pay.” He says the government will never contact people by telephone, and never ask for money.

A second scam theme is to tell the caller he or she “has won the winner’s prize of ¥100 million in the lottery.” The caller then says the winner must pay a procedural fee in order to collect the prize. “Never pay money,” the bank spokesman says. “Talk to the bank. Banks will not discuss financing via telephone. If you see something unusual, call the bank. He cited the example of seeing someone using an ATM while on a cell phone, indicating something out of the ordinary could be happening.

“Never transfer money though an ATM,” the banks union says. “Banks will never ask for such an action.”

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