Tokyo police beef up warnings about ‘rip-off bar’ scams targeting foreigners as tourist numbers surge

Tokyo police have increased patrols and are warning people about scams targeting foreigners in the city's entertainment districts. THERON GODBOLD/STARS AND STRIPES
Tokyo police have increased patrols and are warning people about scams targeting foreigners in the city's entertainment districts. THERON GODBOLD/STARS AND STRIPES

Tokyo police beef up warnings about ‘rip-off bar’ scams targeting foreigners as tourist numbers surge

by Hana Kusumoto Theron Godbold
Stars and Stripes

TOKYO — Bracing for an influx of tourists as the 2020 Olympics draw near, Tokyo police are warning of a potential increase in scams targeting foreigners in the city’s entertainment districts.

So-called “rip-off bars” — a ploy targeting foreigners that may be familiar to some U.S. service members — have been on the rise, according to Tokyo Metropolitan Police. The scam typically involves patrons being lured inside a bar by street touts in areas like Roppongi and Kabukicho, then finding themselves charged excessively large tabs.

These bars, which are usually operated by foreigners from non-Western countries, have been known to charge a target’s credit card more than once. In other cases, they are served strong or spiked alcohol and fudge the bill while the customer’s consciousness is unclear.

“Entertainment districts are places where people go to refresh and enjoy, but it’s also easy to commit crimes and violence,” said Yuta Nagasaka, superintendent of the metro police’s First Organized Crime Control Division.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.607680

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