Jan 22, 2019
FUKUOKA, Japan - Four men, including Nigerians, were arrested Tuesday for allegedly scamming several women in Japan out of large amounts of money by feigning romantic interest online.
The men approached a number of women living in the southwestern Japan prefecture of Fukuoka last year via social media pretending to be foreign military servicemen needing money, investigative sources said.
The men sent messages saying they wanted to meet the women and needed financial support such as for paying for an airline ticket to visit Japan or to leave the military.
One woman in her 50s was cheated out of about 6 million yen ($55,000), the sources said.
Investigators searched a building in Yoshikawa city in Saitama Prefecture northeast of Tokyo that is suspected of being the group's headquarters, according to the sources.
The group is believed to be active in eastern Japan prefectures, and a man suspected of being the group's leader lives in Chiba Prefecture east of Tokyo, the sources said.
The "international romance scam" is on the rise in Japan. Con artists use various schemes such as showing women photos of unrelated men.
Kyodo News Plus is an online publication delivering the latest news from Japan. Kyodo News Plus collaborates with City-Cost to bring those stories related to lifestyle and culture to foreigners resident in Japan. For the latest news updates visit the official site at https://english.kyodonews.net