Special Fraud Damage in Japan Up for 1st Time in 8 Years


Tokyo, Feb. 2 (Jiji Press)--The amount of money stolen in special fraud cases detected by Japanese police in 2022 came to 36.14 billion yen, rising by 7.94 billion yen from the previous year, the first increase in eight years, the National Police Agency said Thursday.

The annual number of special fraud cases increased 20.8 pct to 17,520, up for the second consecutive year.

Fraud groups with "ukeko" members, who receive cash directly from victims, appear to be increasingly active after COVID-19 activity restrictions were eased in the country.

Of the cases in 2022, refund fraud cases accounted for the largest share, at 4,679, up 16.9 pct. In such cases, perpetrators trick victims into transferring money to their bank accounts through automated teller machines, telling the victims that the process is necessary to receive refunds, such as those for medical expenses.

Damage from refund fraud cases increased by some 850 million yen to around 5,370 million yen, the highest since the statistics began in 2006, as people's interest in medical costs has apparently grown amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press