Japanese police are cracking down on investment scams that deceive victims into transferring large sums of money through social media accounts posing as prominent businesspeople.

Damages from such investment scams totaled approximately ¥27.79 billion ($147 million) across 2,271 cases in Japan in 2023, primarily targeting men in their 50s and 60s and women in their 40s and 50s, according to police.

Scammers' first point of contact with victims is often Instagram, Facebook, the messaging app Line or dating apps. But in 88.6% of the cases, the victim and scammer were communicating on Line at the time the victim was defrauded, police said.