Thursday, August 22, 2013

Can that popular dog, "that Father dog", help stamp out frauds??

It's been quite a while since I posted my last article. I hope I'll be able to post an article frequently.

Anyway, today, I'll talk about fraud schemes which the police have been having a hard time stamping out for many years in Japan ( I guess this kind of fraud is similar to phone or billing frauds in other countries). The victims are mostly elderly mothers whose sons live away from home. In Japan, there are a lot of healthy and elderly mothers living alone since Japanese women have the longest life expectancy in the world and live about seven years longer than Japanese men on average. Also, sons generally don't have as many opportunities to communicate with their mothers as daughters do. Because of this, women with sons tend to be the first target for the frauds.

As to how the scammer gains the women's trust, he calls and says something like this:-Hi. it's me, it's me, it's me. I need some money because I have a big problem. Please go to a bank and put money (usually, several million yen) into the following account to help me
-Hello, is this XX? It's XX company (where is the mother's son works). I'm your son's boss. Your son has an accident. To help him, please go to a bank and put money into the following account.

You may wonder why elderly mothers fall for such a simple trick. As a matter of fact, those who haven't had that experience are even surprised at the fact that the number of victims has been increasing, although both the police and the government frequently warn about the fraud schemes. Also, many of the victims wonder why they fell for the frauds, saying that they thought they would never become the victims. As the schemes have been growing in sophistication and diversity, the police have been struggling to find an effective way to reduce the victims.

Under these circumstances, the police have used many kinds of cards to protect elderly mothers from the frauds. One of them is very interesting to me. The police decided that popular white dog, "that father dog", would take up the post of an adviser to stamp out the fraud schemes. Then, the poster (please see the attached picture which I took at Tokyo station) appeared. When I first saw it, I really realized how popular the dog was. I wondered how many Japanese people thought of the dog when they heard of "white dogs" or "fathers".

As for this white dog, please click here.