Extra caution is required to counter a type of fraud that has surged in Japan this year involving people posing as police officers to demand that elderly people turn over their ATM cards and PINs, the Criminal Investigation Bureau said on Tuesday.
Japanese reports have shown that losses from such scams have surged since February, with losses in that time totaling more than ￥400 million (US$3.83 million), the International Criminal Affairs Division said.
The criminals make a telephone call to an elderly person, claiming to be a police officer investigating fraud in which the target’s card had been misused, the division said.
They claim that although the perpetrator had been arrested, the card can no longer be used, as it is tied to a criminal case, it said.
Usually within one or two hours, the criminals would then visit the target’s home and demand to take the card as well as personal information, before inquiring about the PIN, the division said.
To allay suspicion, the fake police officer pretends to scrap the card, but cuts it in front of the target in a manner that avoids the IC chip and the magnetic strip, the division said.
Most of the targets agree to let the card be taken after hearing that it is evidence that requires permission from the bank and a court before it can be completely destroyed, the division said.
Although no reports of similar cases have been made in Taiwan, local criminal organizations might copy the method, the division said.
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