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 White paper on crime 2006 Part1/Chapter1/Section2/4 

4 Fraud/Extortion

  The number of cases reported for fraud had leveled off or decreased until 2001, but has increased significantly since 2002, reaching the record high since 1960 in 2005. The clearance rate had continued decreasing sharply, but showed a slight recovery in 2005 (rising by 2.3 points from the previous year).
  Recently, billing fraud cases are increasing rapidly, which is one of the major factors that raised the number of cases reported for fraud.
  Billing fraud/extortion collectively refers to the following three types; "It's me" fraud/extortion (a fraud or extortion case in which a perpetrator calls up a victim pretending to be a family member of the victim saying "It's me," or a lawyer or a policeman, and asks for money for compensation to be placed immediately in a designated bank account to settle a fictitious trouble such as traffic accident), fictitious claim fraud/extortion (a fraud or extortion case in which a perpetrator makes a victim believe he/she has debt and pay a fictitious charge into a designated bank account by mail or the Internet), and loan deposit fraud (a fraud case in which a perpetrator pretends to lend money to a victim and makes him/her pay a deposit into a designated bank account).
  Table 1-1-2-4 shows the number of cases reported for billing fraud or extortion by type, the amount of damage, the number of cleared cases, the number of persons cleared, and the clearance rate.
  By modus operandi, the number of reported cases among "It's me" fraud/extortion was the highest for claims for compensation for fictitious groping in the public transportation system (1,512 cases), followed by compensation for fictitious traffic accidents (1,248 cases). Among fictitious claim fraud/extortion, claims for fictitious fees for Websites were the most common with 2,908, followed by payments of fictitious debts to money lenders or debt collections with 1,008.
  The number of reported cases decreased by 4,055 cases (15.8%) from the previous year, while the number of cleared cases and persons cleared increased by 1,234 cases (94.6%) and by 271 persons (49.5%), respectively. This is due to efforts by related organizations which promoted various measures such as carrying out public educational activities for preventing damages and strengthening crackdowns for preventing illegal distribution of bank accounts and cellular phones used for these fraud cases.
  However, the number of cases reported for billing fraud/extortion accounted for about 22.4% of overall fraud/extortion cases in 2005, but their clearance rate was rather low at 11.7%, compared to those of overall fraud/extortion cases (36.0%) or non-traffic penal code offenses excluding theft (40.5%). Prevention of occurrence and clearance of billing fraud/extortion cases is one of the important issues.

Table 1-1-2-4  Number of cases reported and cleared, persons cleared, clearance rate, and the total damage for billing fraud/extortion (2005)