Just being brilliant in one way doesn’t necessarily mean you’re smart.

A unusual case of fraud was uncovered in Tokyo when 34-year-old Yusuke Taniguchi was arrested for having stolen the credit card information of over 1,300 people and used it to make purchases online.

According to police, Taniguchi worked the register part-time at a mall in Koto City. Whenever a customer would pay by credit card, the suspect allegedly memorized their 16-digit-number, name, expiry date, and security code, all in the time it took to process their purchase.

▼ And I can’t even remember all that for my own card that I had for years.

Using an apparent eidetic memory (often called a “photographic memory”), he could retain all of the information until after the transaction when he could jot it down. Following Taniguchi’s arrest, police found a notebook containing the hundreds of names and numbers and are currently linking them to past incidents to determine the scope of his alleged crimes.

Readers of the news were amazed that such a powerful mind both existed and could be used for such nefarious schemes.

“Wow, there really are people who can do that?”
“He must be the type of person with a memory like a video recording.”
“What a waste of talent.”
“Isn’t there any job where he can use that talent?”
“A photographic memory! It’s an amazing power but should only be used for good.”
“I’ve never met a person like that.”
“He must be a genius.”

However, there’s one lingering question: if he’s such a criminal genius, then how did he get caught?

According to police, after the arrest Taniguchi told them he would take the items he purchased online and sell them through a pawn shop for money to use on living expenses like food and rent.

In the incident which led to his arrest, the suspect had bought two shoulder bags valued at a total of 270,000 yen (US$2,500). In March of this year, those bags were delivered to Taniguchi’s apartment, ultimately leading the police there along with them. Apparently, he was too busy using his brain to memorize numbers to realize that providing his home address in his crimes was a bad idea.

It just goes to show that having a photographic memory isn’t necessarily linked to high intelligence. And as our staff have shown time and time again, it isn’t necessarily found in those with low intelligence either.

Source: Sankei News, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso
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