【Aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan】No.180:Incidences of special fraud targeting the elderly are happening unabated

In this column series, Yukihiro Matsuyama, Research Director at CIGS introduces the latest information about aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan with data of international comparison.

It is big news that 15 Japanese part of a special fraud group were arrested in Thailand in March 2019. As mentioned in Column No.51, cheating vulnerable elderly people out of money has become a social issue. Therefore, the police have strengthened their crackdown. As a result, the numbers of cases and criminals arrested have increased significantly (Figure 1). Hence, the special fraud group appears to be moving its base overseas to continue to call and defraud the elderly in Japan.

According to the statistics released by the National Police Agency in February 2019, the number of special fraud cases, damages of which were confirmed in 2018, is 16,493 (Figure 2). Though lower than 18,212 in 2017, it is a high number nonetheless. Among them, the number of cases, where the victim was aged 65 or above, accounted for 78%, i.e. 12,867, of the total cases. Though on the decline, the extent of damages is still huge and stands at 35.7 billion yen.

Figure 1 Numbers of cases and criminals arrested

Source: National Police Agency

Figure 2 Number of fraud cases and extent of damages

Source: National Police Agency

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