Sunday, April 19, 2009   6:28 AM

Scam alert!

As someone whose job tangentially involves the area of data and computer security, I am very sensitive to dubious tricks of all kinds, especially involving personal information and money. We do live in an age where criminals are not afraid to contact victims and direct them via mobile telephone to transfer large sums of money into the criminal's account; or where suspicious individuals from sanitation-challenged countries promise you by email access to even larger sums of money in exchange for an up-front fee.

Supplementary Income Payment - 定額給付金 Thus, the other day I was sceptical to say the least to find an envelope addressed to myself personally saying I was entitled to claim a free 12,000 yen[1]. All I had to do is provide copies of both sides of my alien registration card and my bank details, send them off in the envelope provided and the cash would be mine, no strings attached.

Oh yeah? Think I'm going to fall for that one? The fact that it was a professionally designed communication purporting to be from my local ward office[2] only served to make me doubly suspicious.

I investigated the matter further and it appears that behind this scheme is a shady group with links to organized crime known known as the "LDP". Apparently - and this is a bizarre twist on the usual "advance fee fraud" style of scam - the money will actually be paid out. However - as they say, there is no such thing as a free lunch - the LDP will be wanting this money back at some undetermined point in time in the future of their choosing. No firm details have been established yet, but it looks like they'll be expecting recipients not only to repay the money as a sort of "tax", but no doubt also "interest" payments to cover their initial outlay, which will probably be enforced by "officials" within the so-called "bureaucracy" who are in league with the "LDP".

After much thought I have decided to see if I can't get the better of this deal. I will invest some of the money in a club. A club with a nail in it. After all, it certainly keeps the NHK man away. And if that doesn't work out, the remainder should cover the ferry fare to North Korea.

[1] In real money, at current exchange rates, around 93 Euro.
[2] A "ward" (区, ku) is an administrative district of Tokyo, though they like to call themselves "cities".


Posted in Satire
Woah, this is a sick scam. Right now people are receiving the stimulus letters from the goverment which say entitle you to 12,000 once you send your alien card and bank book copy.

And now at the same time these guys are also sending out fradulent letters saying you can get 12,000. I would have probably fell for it...
Thanks for the headsup.
Posted by: Prometheus | 2009-04-19 08:43
rofl, I re-read it and get it now. Nice one, you had me there lol.
Posted by: Prometheus | 2009-04-19 08:45
Hello, I'm a "ku"?
Posted by: Ed Ward | 2009-04-19 11:26
That's why Our Man always rips up every piece of mail that comes through his letter box, just to be safe.
Posted by: Our Man in Abiko | 2009-04-19 13:04
I thought "data" was already plural. Unless we're talking about the robot from Star Trek: TNG.

Anyway, I have yet to receive one of these オレオレ詐欺-like letters in the mail, but I'll be on the lookout for any communication from these so-called LDP hooligans. Damn their eyes, I say!
Posted by: john turningpin | 2009-04-20 14:35
Good heavens, I missed that. 'Twas a humble typo, probably a remnant of a copy'n'paste slipup.
Posted by: ThePenguin | 2009-04-20 22:17
@Prometheus: don't believe everything you read on the Internet! By the way, you live in Nerima, right? If you check the back of your notification there is a scratch panel - rub it off with a coin and you can win "double or nothing".

@Ed: it would be perfect if you had an Irish middle name like O'Keough, and it was pronounced something like "o gawa", for there is in fact an Edogawa-Ku right here in Tokyo.

@OurMan: a shredder apparatus attached to the inside of the letterbox massively reduces the risk of paper cuts.
Posted by: ThePenguin | 2009-04-21 23:18
Finally received one of these bits o' paper in the mail myself. Oh, yes.
Posted by: john turningpin | 2009-04-28 11:04
That's good to hear! By the way I am an authorized agent of the people in charge of selling the old Nihonbashi (it is up for replacement by a more modern version soon), would make an excellent garden highlight. Drop me a line if you're interested.
Posted by: ThePenguin | 2009-04-28 15:39
Did I miss irony?
Cause I thought this one was real...
I didn't have that weird red box with the "check" word on it, but just official papers that I still hadn't claimed my money. Letter from Nishitokyo kuyakusho....
I was going to send it out today, but if this one is wrong....
now I am all scared...
Posted by: Mami | 2009-05-07 02:12
You might want to check the "Posted in ..." item at the end of the post for a clue ;)
Posted by: ThePenguin | 2009-05-07 03:56
Everyone is on the receiving end of this scam except for me!
Posted by: Tom | 2009-05-07 21:25
Thank you, ThePenguinさん, for the fast answer!!
I totally did not see the category...
I reread the article and now it's a great piece of humor!!
Posted by: Mami | 2009-05-08 04:27
Was the letter signed by Tom Champagne? I wonder what happened to him (assuming he ever existed, which is doubtful). Was there a "NO" envelope included? And isn't the LDP the governing party in Japan?
Posted by: d.z. bodenberg | 2009-05-16 15:03
You have me on "Tom Champagne" there. And yes, the LDP is the governing party and make Brown's lot look like a bunch of amateurs.
Posted by: ThePenguin | 2009-05-17 01:32