• Jiji


The Aichi Prefectural Police Department’s use of Twitter in its fight against special fraud has proved effective.

The community safety division of the police department in the central Japan prefecture started a year ago to issue warnings against Twitter posts recruiting people willing to take part in acts of fraud.

Specifically, the division returns such tweets, saying, for example, that “this could be an inappropriate post.” It has so far posted about 2,200 warning messages, resulting in about 80 percent of such suspicious tweets being deleted.

The Aichi police department was the first of the country’s prefectural police departments to start such a campaign against special fraud.

When the crackdown campaign was kicked off, there were many tweets using words such as “ukeko,” which means a person who plays a role of receiving cash or cash cards from fraud targets, according to officials of the Aichi police department.

Recently, words like “dark side jobs,” “daily payment” and “highly paid” are being seen in such tweets, the officials said.

Of 60 people against whom the Aichi police took action in the January-May period over their suspected involvement in special fraud cases, 45 percent said they joined the fraud schemes after reading tweets seeking participants.

The police warned that those who apply to join could be required by fraud groups to submit photos of their faces, copies of their driver’s licenses and their mobile phone numbers, and that such personal information could be abused.

The method of posting warning messages has also been launched by police departments in the prefectures of Hokkaido, Gunma, Ibaraki, Saitama, Kanagawa, Osaka and Fukuoka.

Norio Kimura, deputy chief of the Aichi police’s community safety division, noted that the method produced certain results in the prefecture, showing hopes that systematic efforts will be made across the nation to clamp down on special fraud.

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