Remittance fraud is a major problem in Japan, which boils down to "Its, me, I am in trouble, send me money" scam targeted at old people.

In this case the fraudster was shown how to do it and even wrote a book to tell his story. He served three years in jail and turned his life around. His father sold assets to pay legal fees and reimburse victims, a very honorable approach!

Some interesting approachs being taken to avoid this time of fraud, including police standing by ATMS and question anyone who looks suspicious! 

Another approach is a carboard cutout of a policeman in a bank! But not just a picture he says  “Don’t make a bank transfer without consulting your family and friends first.” to queuing customers. Excellent idea!

In this survey 75% of the scammers posed as the victims Son's. In addition 70% of victims never discussed the transfer with any other family members, through shame I would guess. The average stolen was about three million Yen or £25k.
Police recommend that families choose a secret word to verify identity though its hard to imagine you would not recognize a family members voice.

In terms of credit cards, usage is different in Japan to other countries. Revolving credit is not culturally popular. This from the Visa Rep in Japan:
Credit card fraud in Japan has been consistently downward to the record low level for last several years through the various actions driven by Visa, our B2B clients, law enforcement agencies and industry body JCA. Credit card fraud is a very interesting business – and I say business because that’s what it is. They are very organized and move to where the weakest point of card acceptance is. Where a country accepts more secure cards like EMV chips (Europay, MasterCard and VISA), you don’t see as much of a problem as you do in countries that have mag stripe cards, such as the U.S. That’s why the U.S. is seeing an increase in fraud. However, Visa in the U.S. has announced it will be converting to EMV. When that happens, the fraudsters will be looking for the next weakest link.

In Japan, most cards are EMV, so there is less fraud. In the early 1990s, the law did not punish possession of a fraudulently produced card. Unless you used it, you could not be punished. The law was changed about 10 years ago, so now it is a crime to hold a fraudulent card.

Interesting to see the early adoption of EMV and the strong effect it had on keeping fraud low from the start, though of course Visa is a smaller scheme in Japan. Having it be a crime to even hold a fraudulent credit card is also another good idea.

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