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SCARS|RSN™ SCAM NEWS: Japanese Woman Age 66 Victimized In ‘International Romance Fraud’ Of ¥100 million (US$896,260)
A Victim’s Story: Japanese Woman Became An Accomplice To Scammers
The suspect told the police, ‘My boyfriend, whom I met online, has money problems’
Aichi Prefectural Police in Japan on Wednesday announced the arrest of a 66-year-old woman living in Nisshin City who is suspected of embezzling 100 million yen after she was swindled in what is called “international romance fraud,” reports the Asahi Shimbun (Mar. 21).
Beginning in November, Keiko Ozaki, then head of accounting at a medical corporation in Nagoya, is believed to have misappropriated about 100 million yen through expenditures. Thus far, police have accused her of misappropriating 10 million yen on two occasions in December and January.
“My boyfriend, whom I met online, has money problems,” the suspect was quoted by police in admitting to the allegations. “I wanted to help.”
Police are now attempting to locate the money. However, it is believed that the funds were sent to the bank account of a person working in a fraud ring that preys on women by communicating with them via social media accounts that falsely claim to be for foreign men seeking wives. After communicating with the victims, the fake accounts ask for money.
In January, police arrested four male foreign nationals from Nigeria and Cameroon for carrying out such a similar scam. In one case, a woman in Fukuoka Prefecture, aged in her 50s, sent 6 million yen to the suspects via bank transfer after they posed as a member of the U.S. military last year.
Ozaki worked at the company for 20 years. Once the embezzlement surfaced in February, she retired from her post.