Fraud: Getting Japan Travel Subsidy but Paying Handling Fee First|冒名電郵 稱提供赴日旅遊補助詐手續費


Recently, citizens have received emails from officials of Japan's Tottori prefecture providing travel subsidies in return for a small up-front handling fee. It has been confirmed that this a phishing scam and the public has been advised to remain vigilant over this kind of email fraud.


These are photos of the Tottori Sand Dunes, one of the famous attractions in the Tottori Prefecture in Japan. The beauty formed by nature's artwork of sand and wind attracts crowds every year. However, someone has been trying to defraud Taiwanese nationals under the name of the "Tottori Prefecture Tourism Bureau". The scam typically involves promising the victim travel subsidies, in return for a small up-front handling fee.

This is actually a new type of scam. After investigations via our overseas office, we can confirm that the so-called plan, subsidy and names of the relevant employees are all made-up. They don't exist.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said this is a new scam where the scammer had pretended to be officials from the Tottori government. These email scams usually states that subsidies will be given for trips to the Tottori Prefecture once handling fees have been paid. To make it even more convincing, it even had a plan attached. The real Tottori government has proactively informed Taiwan about this fraud scheme, and clarified that there has been no such plan. Travel agencies also say, that although Japan does often offer subsidies, it is nearly always through travel agencies or hotels.

He is giving you a subsidy, yet he still needs a relevant representative contact, and he needs someone to confirm and certify and then help you to apply? I think for consumers, you need to have a basic understanding, that when he is focused on you personally and asking you to pay first then that's a warning sign.

I think I will first pay a visit to the Tourism Bureau to confirm whether this is real.

Most of the public said that if they have to pay handling fees first, they will feel wary. Meanwhile, industry professionals said that although Tottori Prefecture is a travel destination, but as its logistics are not as convenient as other destinations, there are relatively fewer travelers. Due to this reason, it is harder for Taiwanese nationals to verify information regarding Tottori, and they think this could be the reason as to why the scammer chose Tottori as the facade of their scam.



照片上美麗的鳥取沙丘是日本鳥取縣知名觀光勝地,每年吸引許多遊客去欣賞沙與風交織出來的自然風貌,不過近來傳出有人冒用鳥取縣觀光交流局名義,向台灣民眾發送鳥取旅遊補助訊息,詐騙手續費。

外交部發言人 歐江安表示:「這個其實也是新型的詐騙手法,經過我們駐外單位的查證,所謂的企劃書、還有補助金,以及相關的職員名稱,都是偽造的,並不存在。」

外交部說詐騙手法推陳出新,這次是有人冒用鳥取縣政府官員名義發送電郵,還附上企劃書,宣稱到鳥取旅遊有補助,但要先酌收手續費。鳥取縣官員已經主動向我方說明,並沒有核發過相關企劃書。旅遊業者則說,雖然日本對各國時常有旅遊補助,但幾乎都會有旅行社或飯店當媒介。

旅遊業者 林承曄表示:「他要補助給你,因為他畢竟還是,要有一個相對的對口單位,他需要有人去做確認,認證這方面,然後幫你做請領,我想一般消費者,你應該要有一個基本認知,他要針對你個人去,然後他先跟你付錢這件事,基本上應該就是一個,應該要有警惕。」

民眾表示:「我可能會先到,我們台灣的觀光局問一下,確認有沒有這種事情。」

許多民眾說對要先繳手續費都會有戒心,業者則說,雖然鳥取縣是觀光勝地,但由於交通比起日本其它熱門景點較為不便、旅遊人次相對少,有心人應該是看準台灣人對當地資訊查證較為不易,才會用鳥取縣官員名義來做詐騙。

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