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Swindlers suspected of exploiting fears over Benesse leak

Staff Report

Swindlers may be trying to take advantage of data leak fears raised by the theft from Benesse Corp. of data on millions of customers, the National Consumer Affairs Center warned on Tuesday.

The consumer advocacy group is advising caution against suspicious telephone calls that may warn personal information has been leaked, and offer to delete the supposed data for a cost.

A woman in her 40s reported receiving a call from an individual purporting to represent the local consumer center. The caller, whose gender is unknown, claimed to be “investigating the potential leakage of your information in relation to the personal information leakage from Benesse Corp.” The caller then asked if the woman had had any transactions with a specific company.

The caller, who wished to remain anonymous, hung up abruptly in the middle of the conversation, according to an account of the incident posted on the NCAC website.

An account by another woman, who is over 70 years of age, describes a call from a stranger, who said: “Your name is on Benesse Corp.’s leaked name list. Your bank account will be suspended if you fail to deal with it.” When she said she would call back later, the person gave her a number to call and the call ended. The woman then called the NCAC for advice on what to do.

The organization recommends hanging up on such callers, and seeking advice from a local consumer center if necessary.