Foreigners who visit restaurants and bars in Tokyo’s Roppongi entertainment district are increasingly becoming the targets of credit card fraud in which they are charged for payments they did not make.
According to Azabu Police Station, which oversees the district, it has received more than 100 consultation requests from foreigners over such scams since last year, mostly involving people from Europe and the United States.
The number of Chinese tourists visiting the area has been sharply on the rise recently and they could also become targets of such fraud, the police said.
An Italian man in his 30s who lives in Tokyo said he filed a lawsuit against two credit card firms and a restaurant in Roppongi he had never visited after receiving account statements from the firms last fall notifying him that he spent about ¥370,000 at the restaurant.
Read the rest of the story: Credit card scam targeting foreigners on rise in Roppongi.
Masatoshi Shimbo has always felt more than a bit paternal toward the changeling Roppongi district, the inner-city neighborhood where he grew up and his family made its real estate fortune. But Roppongi often breaks his heart, over the decades turning from a U.S. servicemen’s haunt into a respectable business district and then back to disrepute — the gentle women in kimonos giving way to mobsters and drug dealers. Good or bad, in this famously safe city, Roppongi stands out: elegant one block, seedy the next, a multicultural meeting spot known as Tokyo’s most cosmopolitan dusk-to-dawn adult playground. Through it all, Shimbo has fiercely gone to battle over Roppongi’s reputation. Now the 58-year-old merchants association leader is facing a new challenge: bar touts. Popping up sometimes five or six to a block, the mostly young men from Nigeria and other African nations have a particularly un-Japanese way of doing business.
Source: Los Angeles Times
Photo: John M. Glionna