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Losses from special fraud drop 7.1% in 1st half

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Losses from special fraud, including bank transfer scams, dropped ¥1.33 billion, or 7.1 percent, from a year before to ¥17.49 billion in January-June, down for the fourth straight first-half period, provisional police data showed on Thursday.

The number of recognized special fraud cases fell 672, or 7.6 percent, to 8,197 in the first half of 2018, the National Police Agency said.

“Although the overall number decreased, thanks to a sharp fall in refund scams, the situation remains very serious as ‘ore-ore’[it’s me] fraud is increasing,” an NPA official said.

Ore-ore fraud involves perpetrators approaching targets, mainly elderly people, by pretending to be their relatives in urgent need of cash.

The number of people accused in special fraud cases rose 269, or 25.5 percent, to 1,325. The number of those aged between 14 and 19 more than doubled from 182 to 368, or 27.8 percent of the total.

Of all victims in the special fraud cases, the share of those aged 65 or over climbed 3.6 percentage points to 75.7 percent.

By fraud type, the police recognized 853 cases of refund fraud, down 57.0 percent, with losses from the scheme plunging 52.2 percent to ¥1.07 billion.

The results are believed to have reflected the effects of prevention efforts including restrictions on the use of automated teller machines by elderly people and warnings for them by bank officials.

The number of ore-ore fraud cases continued to rise, by 22.7 percent to 4,560, with losses expanding 1.9 percent to ¥9.63 billion.

In 2,268 of the overall special fraud cases, victims delivered cash totaling ¥8.09 billion by hand to fraudsters.

In 2,741 cases, fraudsters stole a total of ¥3.29 billion after obtaining victims’ cash cards and PIN numbers by pretending to be policemen or others.

The NPA official said offenders tend to withdraw cash soon after receiving bank cards from victims, in order to reduce the risk of being detected. They also appear to increasingly target victims in urban areas with many ATMs, the official said.Speech

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