fraud

Man arrested for scamming millions of yen with complaints of “soggy bread”

Soggy bread is the pits. A great sandwich is equal parts texture and taste, so there’s no greater let-down when your bread feels like a freshly opened bucket of tile grout.

Actually, forget that. A bigger let-down is when someone exploits our shared hatred of soggy bread for their own personal gain. That’s what Tokyo Metro Police are suspecting Takashi Ishimoto of doing by making fraudulent complaints of damp sliced bread and raking in an estimated 30 million yen (US$251,000) from unsuspecting retailers in the process.

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Another fake bank discovered in China, inability to withdraw money dead give-away

In less than half a year since a counterfeit bank was discovered in Nanjing, China, the founder of another fake bank has been arrested in Shandong Province. Although not quite as sinister as the previous unlicensed money lenders, this suspected fraudster seemed not so much evil as just stubbornly convinced that he could run a financial institution despite not knowing certain core concepts of banking such as allowing your customers to withdraw money from their accounts.

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Japanese woman arrested after drugging dates with chocolate, robbing them blind

Although online dating services allow you to peruse profiles of potential paramours from the comfort of your home, they can also be a prime opportunity for fraudsters who pray on the lonely. Last month, for example, we took a look at a ring of dating sites which claimed 2.7 million “users,” only one of whom turned out to be an actual female.

Thankfully, a man from northeastern Japan who joined a dating site actually got to go out with a real girl, and probably thought she was quite the catch, seeing as how she’s decades younger than him and a medical student. Regardless of whether he was looking for something serious or just a fun dinner out, we imagine he was having a great time right up until she drugged him right there in the restaurant and robbed him blind.

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From shady trash collectors to “compensated dating” – 5 crimes peculiar to Japan

Japan is often perceived as a safe country. The nation of 127 million people boasts some of the lowest rates in the world for serious crimes such as murder, robbery, and rape. In addition, Japan continually ranks high on the Global Peace Index. And while it may sometimes seem like stalking and crime against children is rampant in Japan (the stalking rate hit a record high of 22,823 this year, up from 21,000 in 2013), this perception comes largely from widespread media exposure. In the U.S., for example, it is estimated that 6.6 million people are stalked per year.

While serious crime may not rank as high as in other developed countries, there are plenty of the other offenses that Japan excels at, and the country has its share of unscrupulous nationals. These are the things you probably haven’t heard so much about. Today we look at five crimes, some of them strangely Japan-specific.

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Our Japanese reporter offers up some safety advice for anyone traveling to Southeast Asia

‘The other day, I felt a tap on my back while at a Japanese-style shopping mall in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I turned around and there was a beautiful, wide-eyed woman smiling at me. She asked me a favor in broken English: “I don’t have any friends in this city, and I’d like to hear more about Japan. Won’t you get dinner with me?”

I was surprised at myself by my cold reaction–“Ah, not another one.” Despite my efforts to ignore her, she continued pestering me, this time asking how long I was planning to stay in Cambodia. When I responded, “I’ve lived here for over 15 years, she promptly disappeared with a creepy cackling noise.’

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Website under investigation for selling fake diplomas

With the price of higher education skyrocketing in the west, student debt a growing problem for new graduates, and the increase of well-paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, many people are finding that going to university just isn’t really worth it these days. But what if you could still get a degree without devoting all that time and effort, and without coming out of it with a lifetime’s worth of debt?

As it turns out, a website in China has been offering fake diplomas for a number of well-respected universities around the world, for only a fraction of the cost of four years of tuition!

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Fukuoka chicken restaurant in legal trouble for trying to “multiply” good workers

Securing a quality labor force in any workplace is difficult, but it’s especially tricky in the restaurant business. The demanding nature of the job and younger, sometimes less dedicated, employees often means a high turnover rate. However, one small chain of yakitori (grilled chicken) restaurants felt they had the solution.

When an employee was doing a truly great job, their manager would approach and ask them “How about we make you into two people?” That might sound like an excellent proposition for any busy worker, but as is often the case with magical offers, the reality is often illegal.

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Japanese people increasingly report getting spammed by Mom

For years the increasing elderly population of Japan has been under attack by scammers posing as their sons and daughters. In what’s called the “oreore sagi” (Hey, it’s me! Con) the scammer calls on the telephone and poses as the victim’s child asking them for an emergency load due to an accident or trouble at work.

Now it seems the fraud is on the other foot as younger smartphone users have been reporting unusual emails from dear old Ma asking them to click on a link. However, an entertaining bright side to these attempted crimes can be found too. One blogger eloquently put it: These junk mails are fascinating in that they can be quite elaborate and yet also look really half-assed at the same time.

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Fraudsters in China set up entirely fake bank, scam millions out of unsuspecting customers

Most people like to think that they’re wise to scams and cons, particularly financial ones, and would never be stupid enough to fall for one. But even the most suspicious of us could have been caught out by this intricate scheme which involved setting up a whole physical bank complete with ATMs and staff to make it seem completely legit.

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Guitarist perfectly recreates disgraced Japanese politician’s uncontrollable sobbing【Video】

Even we can’t believe how much news and Twittersphere coverage Ryutaro Nonomura has been receiving. The disgraced politician who attempted to claim over 3 million yen (around US$30,000) in travel expenses without providing any supporting evidence has been seen around the world sobbing violently at a press conference thanks to numerous YouTube videos. Even a local station in California showed a short clip of the unprecedented meltdown during the evening news just yesterday.

Just like any other video of an unexpected reaction, this one has sparked a virtual onslaught of meme after meme showing the Hyogo Prefectural Assemblyman with the likes of Hulk Hogan and popular girl group Perfume. But one parody in particular caught our attention for how difficult it was to pull off. Prepare to cringe and be impressed while watching the following video of a perfectly timed, perfectly pitched recreation of Nonomura’s teary defense performed on an electric guitar.

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Man sues mother for breaking promise to let him wed 8-year-old daughter when she came of age

We’re not really sure what to make out of this recent bizarre news out of Taiwan. Nine years ago, a man who was 32 years old at the time claimed to have fallen in love with an eight-year-old girl, even receiving a promise from the girl’s mother that he could wed the girl once she came of age. He then reportedly spent the next several years providing the girl’s family with financial assistance.

Fast-forward to the present, where the man learns that not only has his “betrothed” secretly married another man, but even has her own child. His next course of action is to file a lawsuit against the girl’s mother for fraud. How do you think his case turned out? More details after the jump.

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Hearing impaired “Japanese Beethoven” admits to hiring composer to write music 【UPDATED】

There’s no doubt that Ludwig van Beethoven was a musical genius, but what makes his compositions even more impressive is the fact that he was deaf, unable to hear the beautiful melodies he created. It’s an amazing feat, one that has no doubt inspired people with disabilities all over the world.

Japanese composer, Mamoru Samuragochi, also claimed to have overcome his own deafness, releasing music that earned him the title of “Japanese Beethoven.” But in a shocking confession on Wednesday, Samuragochi has revealed that he hired someone to compose his most famous works.

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Trio busted for forging 3,700 idol group autographs

Diehard fans of popular Japanese idol groups like Arashi, Hey! Say! Jump! and AKB48 may want to double-check that signed poster they bought online. Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun reported that Chiba prefectural police arrested three people last week for an elaborate idol merchandise scam. It seems that the scheming trio forged signatures of eight popular idol groups onto merchandise, put the fake goods on online auctions, then defrauded the winning bidder. Police believe that the three made about 3,700 of these items, which duped people out of 6,700,000 yen (US$67,000)!

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Japanese Lotto Stand Employee Arrested for Lying to Customer About $6,000 Winning Ticket

Working at a lottery counter or kiosk must be a drag.  You have to watch other people win big and hand over cash everyday while probably making a less than stellar salary yourself.

So it comes as no surprise that one lotto shop employee in Sakai city succumbed to the temptation to pocket someone else’s big winning ticket for herself and telling them they lost.

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Japanese Man Arrested for Using Novelty Cash, Clerk Tipped off by Laughing Yukichi

Japanese paper currency is printed with the faces of various prominent figures.  However, rather than past or present leaders, like many countries do, the yen banknotes are decorated with writers and a scientist.

For example, the 10,000 yen (US$124) bill has the likeness of Fukuzawa Yukichi, a highly influential writer during Japan’s transition from the feudal system to modern government.  He is also known to have never smiled in a photograph, which is why when one man attempted to spend a 1,000,000 yen (US$12,400) bill with a picture of a grinning Yukichi, the clerk’s suspicion was aroused.

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