According to Japanese police the damage from” special frauds” reaches 35.6 billion yen, or around 320 million dollars, last year. Such cases include complex schemes to fraud strangers, such as impersonating close relatives over the phone.
According to the National Police Agency the total damage was down about 30 million dollars from the year before. Still, fraudsters took their victims for nearly 1 million dollars a day.
From the Previous year, the number of fraud cases came to 16,493 down 1719.
But Tokyo and the neighbouring prefectures of Saitama and Kanagawa saw the numbers rise substantially.
Senior citizens aged 65 or older accounted for 78% of the victims.
Around 2,747 people were arrested or questioned as suspects in such cases. Of these, the number of minors rose to 754 or 27.4%. That was up by 50% from the year before.
Police identified 61 specific locations used by fraud rings. Apart from rented apartments and offices, they included vehicles and office apartments in Karaoke parlors. The police say this indicates the strategy used by fraudsters is becoming increasingly diverse.
The National Police Agency plans to build up
its crackdowns on the crime syndicates believed to be behind such fraud. It
also plans to ask financial institutions to cooperate in cautioning elderly
people who withdraw large sums of money.