Japanese police using the latest in AI and hand-enlarging technology.

One of the most problematic side-effects of Japan’s steadily aging population has been the proliferation of “special fraud” (tokushu sagi). This is a general term for scams that rely on cold calls to reach a large number of people but in recent years are increasingly targeting seniors.

The exact method can vary, such as pretending to be a family member in trouble, but it often involves getting the victim to make a bank transfer. And thanks to mobile phones, criminals can guide their victims through the process right at an ATM without ever having to appear in person.

This has made it harder for police in Japan to track down these thieves, let alone try to stop the crime from happening in the first place. These desperate times have called for potentially desperate measures such as a proposal to restrict seniors’ access to their bank accounts.

Now Japan’s National Police Agency announced a plan that’s less intrusive and more technologically sophisticated. An AI will analyze security camera footage of people using ATMs and if they are seen using a mobile phone at the same time, a video warning will be displayed on the teller machine.

The video features Keita Tachibana, former member of the boy band W-inds and current member of the National Police Agency’s SOS47 group of celebrities who raise awareness of special fraud. If its intended purpose is to be alarming, it does its job very well with Tachibana pointing a very enlarged finger at the viewer and telling them: “WARNING! That phone call is fraud! Hang up right now!”

Tachibana said that he hopes the video can help stop people from becoming victims but judging by the comments online, it might result in an increase in his fans using their phones at ATMs just to look at him.

“I hope special fraud will decrease with Keita-kun’s wonderful video.”
“They should go after the people committing the fraud first.”
“Keita-kun is so cool! I hope special fraud goes down.”
“Keita-kun! Cool!”
“He’s so hot!”
“His hand is so big.”

To develop the system the National Police Agency is currently working with the post office, which in Japan is privatized and also a bank. It’s unclear whether they’re triggered by using any and all ways of using a phone or only talking on them specifically, but Japan Post Bank ATMs across the country are expected to play the video to those an AI deems is in danger of being defrauded sometime in the future.

I wonder how good the AI is though. A lot of ATMs have phones attached with hotlines to customer support in case there’s a problem. So, if I’m talking to a bank employee because the machine ate my card, is Keita-kun going to suddenly shout “Hang up right now!” and point his big finger at me?

Source: NTV News
Featured image: ©SoraNews24
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