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Citizens warned of unscrupulous salesmen

Date Posted: 2002-11-02

The Okinawa Prefecture Citizensí Life Center has received a growing number of phone calls complaining of persons calling in and posing as former classmates or friends of themselves or their children. What these callers turn out to be are over-ambitious salesmen seeking any change they can come up with to make their pitch. Wares they sell vary from English courses to jewelry and porn videos.

According to complaints received by the center, most of the callers begin with introducing them selves as being former classmates of their son or daughter. According to one variation, they say that they are in the process of making a directory of their old school mates for which they need a telephone number of the son or daughter, and possibly an address.

When the salesman the contacted his target, he usually proceeded to propose a meeting at a coffee shop or some other similar place, usually saying that he had a present to give. When the two finally meet, the sales pitch follows in earnest.

The scheme came to light when a childless couple received a phone call. They then contacted the school and were told that no project to make a directory existed. The school also said that they had received several complaints about the same matter.

Officials at the center said that they have received about 40 complaints so far. They advice public to be wary of giving any telephone numbers or addresses over the phone to people they do not recognize.

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