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Turning the tables on the ore ore scam in Nagoya can leave you richer than you were before the attempted fraud.

The “ore ore scam” is one of the oldest cons in Japan, and it starts when a crook calls a senior citizen on the phone and says “Ore da,” or “It’s me.” The plan is that the target will mistake the scammer for a son or grandson, and should they ask “Who is this?”, the scammer will employ guilt tactics, saying, “What? It’s me! You recognize my voice, don’t you?”

The next step is for the scammer to tell the target that he needs money, and fast, usually to help smooth over some mistake at work. “I lost a briefcase with company money in it, and if I don’t pay it back right away, they’re going to fire me,” is a common story, for example. Invariably, though, the son/grandson isn’t able to pick the money up in person, and says either that a coworker (actually a criminal accomplice) will meet the target somewhere to pick up the money, or tell the target a bank account number to transfer the money into.

It’s a despicable deception that preys on Japanese societal values of familial and professional responsibility, and every year Japanese seniors are defrauded out of millions and millions of yen by it. But as of this month, there’s now a way for law-abiding Japanese people to actually make money from ore ore scams instead.

▼ And no, they don’t have to mug the pick-up guy.

On May 1, the Minami Precinct of the Aichi Prefectural Police, which serves and protects the city of Nagoya’s Minami Ward, launched a new aspect of Operation Pretend to Be Fooled. This new crime-fighting program asks …continue reading