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Flyer fraud scheme bilks dozens out of more than ¥101 million

Date Posted: 2008-05-16

Con men are preying on Okinawans, promising easy loans in exchange for their making good faith deposits into special bank accounts.

Two variations of the schemes are currently playing to unwitting victims in Okinawa, and both are defrauding people of millions of yen. A set-up using flyers that promise loans to people who can’t obtain them from banks has claimed 43 victims in the first quarter of the year, with losses totaling ¥32.7 million. The flyers claim ”You don’t need any guarantee, and today we can give you a loan.” The kicker is that the would-be loan seekers must first deposit ¥100,000 in a special bank account.

Later, when residents don’t receive the promised loans, they find the non-existent company advising “sorry, there’s something missing. You’ll have to pay more to us, and then we’ll give you the loan.” Okinawa Prefecture Police say the fraud cost consumers more than ¥98.3 million last year, and warns “be careful. Never believe the flyers about this type loan, as they’re mostly frauds.”

A second scheme promises advance refunds on taxes or medical treatment payments. The con is targeted to those with financial problems and who need immediate cash. Police say they’re not sure how the con men get the names and information, but says four cases were reported January ~ March, with total fraud amounting to ¥3 million.

The Social Insurance Affairs Office says it has received more than 70 calls from citizens inquiring about refund money, saying “they have received calls promising refund money from the social insurance company, and telling them please pay the service charge.” The Social Insurance Affairs Office says it never telephones citizens about refunds.

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