419 Scammers missed the sushi! They are now targeting the Japanese! What’s more, we were talking about 419 Scam + Violence in Jamaica, and and now its 419 Scam + Kidnapping in Japan!

…an increasing number of them are being duped with some pretty old-fashioned confidence games – transferring decent chunks of money to overseas bank accounts in the hope of huge rewards.

The victims aren’t gullible old grannies either: Many are medium-sized and small businesses, reported the Mainichi Daily News. A specialist Dutch agency also found that 419-scam losses relating to Japan last year amounted to 27billion yen (S$391 million) – the third-highest amount in the world in that year. The United States and Britain led the list.

A Tokyo trading-company employee, however, was ensnared by a South African variation of the scam last month: The scammer claimed to be a senior civil servant and persuaded the victim to send a commission for tendering a contract bid. The employee was then lured to South Africa on the pretence of holding business talks, but was kidnapped. A ransom was demanded but he was eventually rescued.