Japan: Furikome sagi (from NTT)
Furikome-sagi, or “pay up” phone scam, gangsters telephone their victims and deceive them into wiring them large amounts of money. In February 2005, NTT Communications took action against this shocking crime by launching CoDen Anshin (“Peace-of-Mind”) Call. Today we offer two anti-fraud services: the Pay-Up Phone Scam Information Hotline and Anshin (“Peace-of-Mind”) Call.
The Pay-Up Phone Scam Information Hotline offers a voice recording prepared with the cooperation of the National Police Agency. This user-friendly recording explains the kinds of tricks used in this scam, recent examples of this fraud, and what citizens can do to protect themselves against it. By learning about this scam in advance, citizens can recognize this fraud when it occurs and take appropriate precautionary measures.
Anshin (“Peace-of-Mind”) Call is a service that provides a single number you can call to contact a preregistered list of three family members or relatives in sequence. When citizens receive a fraudulent call they can immediately place a single call to quickly and easily get in touch with family.
The perpetrators of “pay up” phone scam typically target the elderly. Using these services, citizens can take steps to protect themselves from this scam. We believe that the Pay-Up Phone Scam Information Hotline and Anshin Call services make a valuable contribution to the safety and security of the Japanese public.
From N T T communications
Nice work if you can get it
Cheese and crackers! The "It's me" scam--which has now taken so many forms that it's referred to more elegantly as 振り込め詐欺 (furikome-sagi: "the 'Pay up!' scam"*)--caused losses of 28,400,000,000 yen in 2004. (That's about US $258,000,000.) The figure is nearly four times what it had been in 2003--the phenomenon really took off last year. The Mainichi ran an article a few days ago about one of the rings from which some members have been caught:
The ring was divided into 10 groups, each of which comprised of some 10 "shops." Each shop was headed by a "manager" and staffed by approximately 10 "employees."
Each shop was required to net at least 10 million yen a month from such frauds. Employees who showed outstanding performances were invited to participate in tours of Okinawa and dine at hotels. While those who failed to fulfill their quota were beat by their bosses.
Managers received about 500,000 yen in fixed monthly salary and employees got 250,000 to 300,000 yen, plus additional pay in proportion to the money they earned. One manager received 5 million yen as a monthly wage, police said.
And it still happen every week.