Friday, August 10, 2007

Japanese man falls for phone scam 61 times

10 Aug 2007, ST

TOKYO - A JAPANESE man was swindled out of a fortune after being duped 61 times by conmen who told him his name was circulating among shady moneylenders, police said yesterday.

The 54-year-old company worker first received a phone call in early June from a purported financial company, asking him: 'Haven't you been receiving lots of offers of loans lately?'

The caller said that this was because his personal data had been leaked to moneylenders.

'We will erase your data, which will cost 5,000 yen (S$64). Please send us 30,000 yen as we'll refund you 25,000 yen later,' the caller said, according to Tokyo police.

The victim fell for this scam 61 times.

He sent 37.75 million yen in total to a designated bank account 'as he kept receiving calls saying his data could not be deleted smoothly', a police spokesman said.

He finally grew suspicious when a conman failed to meet him to pay back the money.

The culprits have not yet been caught.

There were 1,278 phone scam cases from January to July in Tokyo alone, with 2.5 billion yen defrauded, reported public broadcaster NHK.


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