MATSUE, Shimane Pref. – More than 1,000 people have filed complaints with police and consumer information centers across the nation since the end of last year, claiming they were charged for telephone dating services they did not use, police said Tuesday.
Some of the complainants in Shimane and Mie prefectures paid after receiving bills for the services, and local police are investigating the cases on suspicion of fraud, they said.
Police said the sender of the bills claims to be a telephone dating service company. Bill recipients are ordered to transfer about 28,000 yen in supposed unpaid fees to banks in Tokyo and other prefectures. The bills, which were sent on postcards, said the company would visit recipients to collect unpaid fees as well as the company’s traveling expenses, police said.
Some of the postcards were sent to old addresses and dead people, leading police to suspect that one group randomly sent the cards using old telephone books.
Police are calling on those who have received the bills to report to police without paying.
Prefectural Police said they received about 230 complaints over two months through the end of February. Consumer information centers and police in Shimane and Tottori prefectures received about 150 such complaints during the same period, while more than 80 complaints were filed in Oita Prefecture.
Similar reports were also made in Fukushima, Chiba, Saitama, Nagano, Aichi, Saga and Kumamoto prefectures.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.