Everyday Scams in Japan
Wednesday, December 28, 2011 4:51:56 AM
Scams, especially targeting the elderly, are so common that you can barely walk into a bank without seeing a warning (with colorful, cute pictures to boot) against being scammed.
Some of the more common or well-known scams:
オレオレ詐欺 ore ore sagi
This scam requires only a mark and their phone number. The scam artist calls and says little else other than "It's me, it's me! There's been an accident! Quick, I need a money transfer!"
One reason that these kinds of scams work is that they put the mark in a state of mind where they cannot think freely. Suddenly spooking the mark into this state of emergency help to sell the scam.
着信あり詐欺 chakushin ari sagi
This one is annoying, and many of you in Japan will be aware of it. It's really quite ingenious. You will check your phone and notice that you have a missed call. That's strange, you don't remember it ringing... Guess you better call them back.
Wrong, you just got scammed. This scam has gone international. The company will call you for just enough to allow for one ring (this being free). This will show up on the receiver's phone. What they don't know, is that they are being charged when they call back, usually for a negligible fee, but money nonetheless. Recently they have began doing this through Facetime calls.
架空請求 kakuu seikyuu
This is basically a fake invoice scam where the scam artist will send you an invoice claiming that you owe them money (and are usually already overdue), where failure to pay will affect your credit rating. This is often targeted at companies rather than people.
They are usually for small amounts, ones that you would rather just pay than spend too long looking into.