/

Swindlers made off with a record ¥48.69 billion in 2013, NPA reports

Kyodo

Damage from fraud cases totaled a record high ¥48.69 billion in 2013, up by about 33.6 percent from the previous record of ¥36.44 billion in 2012, provisional data released by the National Police Agency showed Thursday.

The total tallies what the police dub “special fraud” cases, which cover eight particular types of fraud, including ones in which swindlers pass themselves off over the phone as close kin of the victims, who are usually elderly, and ask for urgent money transfers to get out of a jam. Other types include charging people for visits to Internet sites they never used, and offering fake corporate debt or stock issues.

The number of cases increased 38 percent from a year earlier to 11,998, the agency said. The agency started collecting statistics on these kinds of frauds in 2004.

Handing over cash in person was the most prevalent form of delivering money to swindlers, accounting for 42.7 percent. Bank remittances were used for 39.8 percent. Post and parcel services delivered money in 15.6 percent of the cases.

Arrests and other law-enforcement actions were taken against a record 1,805 people, up 18.5 percent, including 978 people who picked up the cash and 204 phone callers, the agency said.

Financial product fraud fell 5 percent to ¥17.68 million. Impersonation fraud increased 52.5 percent to around ¥17.08 billion, while fake billing jumped 113.5 percent to ¥6.43 billion.