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Welcome to TokyoFreePress Sunday, March 26 2017 @ 06:35 AM JST

Ore, ore scams and lottery hoaxes

Practically everyday in this nation parents and grandparents living alone fall victim to "ore, ore" sagi, or "it's me, it's me" fraud. In the typical modus operandi of this new breed of "intellectual" crime, or un-intellectual crime, to be more precise, a young man calls old people at random and when an oldish voice answers the phone, he says something like, "It's me, it's me. I got involved in such-and-such trouble. So I want you to help me out by remitting such-and-such amount of money very urgently to such-and-such bank account." Believe it or not, it's not so infrequent that this kindergarten trick works out here. My biological age being 68, I may sometimes sound oldish on the phone. But I would never be victimized by these callers because 1) my grown-up kids are self-reliant, 2) I can tell their voices from someone else's and most importantly 3) the gloomy future perspective of my finances wouldn't permit me to send the dough.

In the last six years I've been working for the Japan's subsidiary of a German company where I've been consistently under-exploited, under-paid and under-whatever-it-is simply because of my biological age whereas integrity (defined later in this piece), not age, is what really matters. To make a long story short, this company has recently handed me a virtual pink slip by saying it won't extend my contract beyond next March. You may have read the Sept. 10 TFP article "Why not retire at 130?" that deals with the agist bias widespread in this country. Since joining this German company I've been on a hand-to-mouth basis all the time just because of discrimination against senior employees there, and now I'm facing a destitute life ahead of me.

It was in that frame of mind that I received a lengthy e-mail from a Mrs. Monica Jose of "Euromillions Info Center." In "her" mail titled "Notification of winning and claim", Monica wrote:

We are pleased to inform you of the result of the Euro Million International programs held on the 19TH November, 2004. Where all participants were selected through lucky email and number generator system from the internet, randomly drawn from over 100,000 COMPANIES and 50,000,000. (individuals private/personal) email addresses all over the world with your personal, email-address attached to ticket number SL21/EM3888 with serial number EU 1010020.drew lucky numbers 01,18,29,34,37,02,06 which consequently won a lump sum pay of 1,000,000.00 Euros.(ONE MILLION EUROS ONLY) which is currently insured in your favour.

This funding was made possible in conjunction with Spain's Lotteries y Apuestos Del Estado.

We ask that you keep your winning information confidential until your claims have been processed and your money remitted to you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program by some participants.


Your fund is now secured and insured in your name. Due to mix up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep this award from public notice until your claims has been processed and the money remitted to your account as this is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming of unwarranted taking advantage of this program by participants as it has happened in the past.

All participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from 25,000 names from Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, North and South America, Middle East and Africa as part of our International Promotions Program.

We hope your lucky name will draw a bigger cash prize in the subsequent programs.

To begin your lottery claims, please contact your claims agent below
TeL:+34-686 201 207

Remember, all prize money must be claimed not later than 30th December, 2004.Claims that are not made before the above date will be returned to the Ministry of Inland revenue. And also be informed that 10% of your lottery winning belongs to (IBERO PROMOTION COMPANY S,A.) Because they are the company that bought your ticket and played the lottery on your name.This 10% will be remitted after you have received your winnings prize because the money is already insured in your name.

NOTE: In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please remember to quote your reference and batch numbers in every correspondence with us or your claim agent. send to your agent your Telephone & Fax number, your full name and residential address including your international passport or other valid identification proof.

The processing of your payment will start immediately and your agent must send you fund processing form,which you must complete and return to them.

Furthermore, should there be any change of address,please do inform your claim agent as soon as possible.

A copy of your lucky Prize winning certificate and insurance will be sent to you by your claim agent prior to the transfer of your fund by our paying bank,

Congratulation once again from all members of our staff and thank you for being a part of our International promotions program.



To tell the truth I almost believed in the authenticity of this mail for the first couple of seconds in part because I might as well have my leg pulled in such a sweet way as do in an obnoxious way I've experienced in the last couple of years with my employer, and in part because I was pondering over how to make my living next April onwards when I heard the pleasant sound of the mail hitting the inbox of the MS Outlook. Besides, all "intellectual" crimes Japanese media have been talking about these days are It's Me Scams.

When I came to, I called the Public Relations Department of the National Police Agency. The one who answered my call said: "All 'hitech' crimes are being handled at the prefectural level." So I called someone supposedly working on the cyber crime prevention at the Kanagawa Prefectural Police Department. I'd known the KPPD was one of those PPDs particularly infamous for their collusive relations with yakuza syndicates but I had known very little about their intellectual levels before. Our telephone conversation went like this:
KPPD: "Although we don't have the database, or access to one, most probably it's a scam, I guess."
Me: "How probable do you think it's a scam?"
KPPD: "From the top of my head, it's 99%."
Me: "I agree. That's exactly why I wanted to talk to you in the first place."
KPPD: "????"
Me: "But would you just forget about this tiny 1 million euros when it's still one point shy of 100%?"
KPPD: "......"

So I had to try a YAHOO! search. My search string "lottery scam madrid" brought me to a website named "". To make 100% sure that it's a hoax, I sent an e-mail to the owner of this site, an individual named Blake. In that mail I asked him this additional question: " looks quite informative and helpful. And yet I wonder what's in it for you to build up and maintain this database, and allow people free access to it. That must have been an extremely time-consuming task." Blake responded right away. His answer to my additional question was like this:

LOL! ·

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