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(Provisional Translation)
Updated December 1, 2020
Financial Services Agency
(Japanese version: updated September 10, 2020)

FSA urges vigilance on Crime Taking Advantage of the COVID-19 Pandemic!

  It has been seen that calls, email, SMS, SNS, websites, etc. are used as a means of communication by criminals taking advantage of the outbreak of COVID-19.
  FSA urges individuals to remain vigilant against unknown calls, email and websites as such to avoid crime related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

[Specific cases]
・A case of phone scams leading a person to make remittance from an ATM
  A criminal disguised as a Labor Bureau officer makes a phone call to an individual, saying "Please register your bank account information so that you can go forward with the required procedures to receive a subsidy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as masks", thereby soliciting a person to make remittance from an ATM.
・A case of phishing website stealing personal information such as bank account details or credit card number
  When a person receives an email or SMS with links offering free masks or selling masks and then clicks on the link, a phishing website attempts to steal personal information like credit card number.

Pay attention to avoid being victimized by a bank transfer scam or fraud involving your personalinformation, passbook or cash card, or personal identification number!

Officials of the national government or a municipal government never conduct the following acts regarding Special Cash Payments:

  • Ask you to operate an ATM;
  • Ask you to for receiving a Special Cash Payment;
  • Send an email asking you click an indicated URL and undertake application procedures.

・A case of providing illegal loans through SNS or other media, in such forms as interpersonal loans or purchase of wages
  A business that is not registered under the Money Lending Business Act solicits persons suffering from the impact of COVID-19 through an SNS or website and provides illegal loans at excessive rates of interest in such forms as interpersonal loans or purchase of wages.
・A case of pretending to mediate loans provided by government financial institutions
  An offender pretends to mediate loans as measures against COVID-19 provided by government financial institutions or private financial institutions and demands expensive fees.
  If you have any suspicion, please provide information or seek consultation with the police (nearest police station or the dedicated line available nationwide [#9110]) or the FSA's Financial Services User Consultation Room (0570-016811 [or 03-5251-6811 from IP phones]) (available only in Japanese).

(Related links)
・Responses to COVID-19 (National Police Agency website) (available only in Japanese)
https://www.npa.go.jp/bureau/soumu/corona/index_corona_special.htmlopen new window

・Beware of fraud relating to Special Cash Payments!! (National Police Agency website) (available only in Japanese)
PDFhttps://www.npa.go.jp/bureau/soumu/corona/sagihigaibousi.pdfopen new window

・What you should be aware of as a consumer in responding to the spread of COVID-19 infections  (Consumer Affairs Agency website) (available only in Japanese)https://www.caa.go.jp/policies/policy/consumer_policy/information/notice_200227.html#cov06open new window

・Beware of crime taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic (Japanese Bankers Association website) (available only in Japanese)
https://www.zenginkyo.or.jp/topic/covid19-fraudopen new window

・Financial Services User Consultation Room (FSA website) (available only in Japanese)https://www.fsa.go.jp/receipt/soudansitu/index.htmlopen new window

・Beware of interpersonal loans using SNS! (FSA website)(available only in Japanese)https://www.fsa.go.jp/ordinary/chuui/kinyu_chuui.htmlopen new window

・Warning against factoring (FSA website)(available only in Japanese)https://www.fsa.go.jp/user/factoring.htmlopen new window

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