Mock monks after your money? On layman‘s terms.
Our reporter Go Hattori takes the plunge into the greasy underworld of buying social media followers.
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.
Dating is never easy, is it? Going out and meeting strangers and talking to them can be painful, awkward, and downright terrifying. Fortunately, Internet dating sites have helped us cut through the trial-and-error process to find people we have deep, personal connections with — or, at least, who swiped right.
Unfortunately, online dating is also ripe for abuse, exploitation, and scams. If ever you needed a cautionary tale for being careful about who you give your money to, this group of dating site executives who ran multiple scam sites should suffice. Of the 2.7 millions users on the site, only one was a woman. The rest of the “women” the male members were chatting with online were all paid fakes!
There’s nothing quite like the joy of pumping shiny coins into a “UFO Catcher” machine or crane game and getting a fuzzy toy in return. As long as you can figure out the machine’s “sweet spot”, you’re almost guaranteed a prize.
But in Japan, where crane games feature a wide variety of prizes including anime figures and snacks, the game designers have been coming up with sneaky ways to trick you into feeding in even more coins in pursuit of a reward. Check out these epic crane game fails…
Crane games, AKA claw games or even “UFO catchers” if you’re in Japan, have always been a bit of a con. This much we know already. They’re designed so that the claws exert barely enough force to grip the trinkets we’re so lusting after, and the prizes are usually worth much less than it costs to actually win one of them to begin with. Even so, they’re great fun, and Japan’s arcades are chock-full of them, luring us in with their various exciting, and sometimes not-so-exciting prizes.
But this particular crane game, which asks arcade goers to attempt to pick up a what appear to be miniature moe-style figurines, is not so much tricky as plain lazy.
The internet is full of awesome stuff, isn’t it? Cute cat videos, like-minded folks to chat with, and Mr. Sato of course. But the internet is also notorious for its dark underworld, where trolls, annoying memes, and fraudsters lurk. When it comes to online jerks, you’ll have trouble finding anyone who is more gleefully evil than the fake online seller.
Here’s the tale of a particularly duplicitous individual whose trickery regarding a Nintendo 3DS XL seemingly led to someone being duped out of 47,000 yen (almost US$400).
Have you heard of the “moron in a hurry test“? It’s a legal test for trademark infringement. Basically, if you can successfully argue that “only a moron in a hurry” could confuse your product with another, you can get away with slightly ripping off somebody else’s design. But you’d have to be a real dingbat to confuse this gallery of 30 knockoff toys for the real things!
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.
If you’ve ever wondered why so many people are mounting cameras on their car’s dashboard recently, you might want to take a look at this short video. In it, we witness an increasingly common sight in mainland China: a scammer throwing himself at a moving vehicle in the hopes of receiving reparations for (often non-existent) personal injury.
This time, though, the scammer was caught in the act by a surveillance camera positioned directly above the junction at which he chose to try his little scam, and as a result had to cough up some cash of his own.
Now, we all know better than to trust promises of easy money, right? Well, apparently not everyone does, as a recent piece of news involving an unsuccessful scam attempt here in Japan clearly demonstrates. The whole affair actually has Japanese internet users shaking their heads in disbelief, and one thing is clear — there’s not going to be much public sympathy for the intended victim in this particular case. Once you hear the story, you’ll probably understand why.
Suspected of violating laws related to acts of violence, the first trial for company employee Yoshihito Harada, 25, was held at the Nagoya district courthouse on 16 April. Harada stands accused of puncturing the tires of parked cars that were driven by women in an effort to strike up conversations with the drivers. When asked if there was any truth to the indictment, Harada admitted, “It’s true, I did it.”
According to the opening statement by prosecutors, between April 2011 and December 2012, Harada used a screw driver or other sharp object to puncture the tires of five different cars. The cars had all been parked outside supermarkets in the cities of Miyoshi, Nisshin and Toyota, Aichi Prefecture. In all cases the stated reason was so that Harada could establish contact with the women.
According to reports by the Chinese media, a gas station in the eastern province of Jiangsu has been identified as the source of heavily-diluted fuel that has caused numerous vehicle breakdowns in the area.
A number of cars in the city of Nantong suffered engine trouble just minutes after their tanks were filled at a Sinopec stand (owned by the China Petrolium and Chemical Corporation), with each car later found to have water in its fuel tank.
It wasn’t long before mechanics and motorists alike began to notice a pattern between the sudden engine failures and visits to the Sinopec stand.