Osaka deploys 900 police to ATMs as transfer scams double

Kyodo

The Osaka Prefectural Police have deployed 900 officers to about 400 unmanned bank branches on Monday to combat transfer scams targeting the elderly.

Operations of this size are rare in any prefecture, and the police did not say when it would end.

The deployment is aimed at preventing frauds in which people are deceived, often by phone, into sending money to strangers via ATMs.

In Osaka, 465 bank transfer frauds involving about ¥510 million in damages were reported from January to May. That amounts to 2.4 times more cases and 2.1 times more damages than logged during the same period last year.

The police decided to launch the operation because 96 percent of the ATMs involved in such scams are in unmanned branches.

The police officers, either in uniform or not, will try to spot elderly people who seem to be caught up in funds transfer scams.