Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Gold mine scams in Japan spark warning to consumers

Scams offering rights to mines including the Hishikari Mine in Kagoshima Prefecture, one of the world's richest gold mines, have become rampant, prompting one company to issue a warning to consumers.

The scams have caused victims major losses, exceeding 10 million yen in at least one case. An official of Hishikari Mine's owner, Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., commented: "We do not sell rights to mines, and these offers are fraudulent and phony."

In mid-January, a woman in Chiba Prefecture received several phone calls from men claiming to work for a trust bank, who asked her, "Have you received a pamphlet from a company called 'Daito'?" Several days later she received a pamphlet from the company seeking investments of 100,000 yen per head for "mineral transfer rights." The men told her that Daito had received approval from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and was due to go public in April. They said that if she purchased the rights she could double her investment.

However, when the woman contacted Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. and other sources, she found out that the business had nothing to do with the mine, and she did not invest. Calls to the business by a Mainichi reporter did not get through. Read More