Discover How Japan Is Winning The War Against Online Fraud

Join us on a fascinating journey as we delve into the novel methods employed by Japanese police and local businesses in the fight against online .

Police and Businesses: A Unique Alliance

In an innovative initiative to curb online , particularly targeting the elderly population, the Japanese police have teamed up with business owners in Echizen, a city in Fukui Prefecture with around 90,000 residents. The goal is not just to combat fraud, but to use the scammers' own tools against them in this fight.

Playing the Hackers at Their Own Game

Cleverly turning the tables, local police in Echizen have introduced a novel approach using fake payment cards. These cards, placed strategically on shop shelves, are designed to replicate those deployed by fraudsters to trick their victims into paying to remove a Trojan horse virus or to settle bogus outstanding bills.

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The Trick Revealed

The real genius behind this initiative lies in its functioning. When an unsuspecting person picks up one of these cards intending to purchase it, the informed store staff step in to reveal the truth. Not only do they prevent a potential , but they also take this opportunity to educate the customer about the reality of online frauds. For their efforts in this endeavor, the staff even receive a modest commission, offering a small incentive for their role in preventing scams.

Predominantly Targeting the Elderly

These measures have been introduced particularly because the senior citizens are the primary targets of these hackers in Japan. A report by TV Asahi, a Japanese TV channel, stated that nine out of ten phishing victims are above the age of 65. In 2022 alone, the elderly accounted for 87% of the fraud victims. Shockingly, from January to July 2023, scams managed to siphon off over 15 billion yen (roughly €96 million) from the hard-earned funds of senior citizens.

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Limiting Card Use

The National Police Agency of Japan (NPA) hasn't been silent either. Among numerous measures taken to prevent fraud, one effective action has been limiting card use for citizens above 65 years of age, or those who haven't used their card at an ATM in over a year. This measure is another step in the right direction towards safeguarding the well-being of their elderly citizens.

More than just Prevention

While these measures are certainly helping in the fight against online fraud, the initiative taken by the Echizen police is not just about prevention. It is about creating a dialogue, raising awareness, and educating people about the risks involved when dealing with online transactions. This step is a move towards a safer and more informed society, making it harder for the fraudsters to succeed in their deceitful activities.

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