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Are we in danger? Japanese Buddha scam? 2019/8/25 16:24
The other day we, my friend and I, were walking around sunshine city when we were stopped by 3 women. They were friendly and wanted to know about America so we followed them to a cafe. They bought us drinks and snacks and genuinely seemed like nice people. Although, they knew where we had been staying and another potential place we thought of going. Regardless, they asked us to follow them to temple to pray for good luck and Japanese Buddha, we obliged, not wanting to be rude. On the train there they had us give personal information (dob, address, telephone, name). At this point we were freaked out but went along with it (in retrospect this was a stupid move but here we are). We arrive at the temple and they give our information to the person at the desk. We do the prayer with them and afterward they take us back to Ikebukuro. Did we join a cult? Are we in danger at all?
by Sam (guest)  

Re: Are we in danger? Japanese Buddha scam? 2019/8/26 08:56
Sounds like you are scammed and that getting information for what goal they have in mind from you is important. I do not know what there intention was/is.

In Japan scam is often performed by Philippines (most) or other foreigners.
Japanese speaking English directly to foreigners and asking foreigners to go somewhere together is something almost not existing.

Why you gave all your detail to people you do not know, and why a temple or shrine needs does information. Sorry to say but using common sense would prevent this scams.
by justmyday rate this post as useful

Re: Are we in danger? Japanese Buddha scam? 2019/8/26 09:02
I wouldnft say you are gin danger.h But they will probably send you (if you gave out addresses) brochures of the temple probably asking for donations. Next time they approach you, say no firmly.

by ....... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Are we in danger? Japanese Buddha scam? 2019/8/26 10:15
In Japan scam is often performed by Philippines (most) or other foreigners.
Japanese speaking English directly to foreigners and asking foreigners to go somewhere together is something almost not existing.

Wooo.. woo... hold your horses there.

To OP,
Are you a resident or tourist?
Agree with what ...... said.


by @.. (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Are we in danger? Japanese Buddha scam? 2019/8/26 11:36
Thank you for your answers! To answer some questions:

I am not a resident of Japan, I am a tourist.

All the people who have approached us have been Japanese, both young and old people. Their English has not been too strong, just enough for understanding.
by Sam (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Are we in danger? Japanese Buddha scam? 2019/8/26 13:45
Man if it was me, we wouldnft have even made it to the cafe part.
by Gregalor rate this post as useful

Re: Are we in danger? Japanese Buddha scam? 2019/8/27 00:32
You should discuss that at a Koban police booth, because they are always there to help you without making a big fuss. You can ask those questions to confirm what kind of danger you are in or not, while informing the society in order to prevent future incidents.

By the way, people would think that you'd never go to a cafe with strangers or hand out info, but professionals have a way of making people do what they think they'll never do. You shouldn't feel bad about what happened to you. Just learn from the experience. I hope the rest of your stay in Japan would be a pleasant one.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Are we in danger? Japanese Buddha scam? 2019/8/27 04:29
Please donft think that just because to foreign tourists Japan has the image of being all about respect and politeness, that you canft tell people where to stick it; you can and should. Worried about being disrespectful? Worry about yourself first. Donft give sensitive personal information to anyone, in any country without them having a good reason for need it.
by LIZ (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Are we in danger? Japanese Buddha scam? 2019/8/27 16:36
Oh something similar happened to me in Ikebukuro like I don't know 3 or 4 years ago.

two older gentlemen started talking to me, asked about me speaking japanese and where I'm from etc.
and since I wanted to practice my japanese I started talking to them in a japanese english mixture.
they asked about what I wanted to see and stuff and if I was interested in temples. but as soon as they started talking about goint with them visiting their temple I was like: ahmmm I have some important errands to run sorry. they asked about me coming by maybe later and gave me a brochure.
But I never gave them any info. I just thought they were like jehovas witnesses (they sometimes talk to people on the street here in my country)

I guess since I was a female traveling alone, I was a bit more careful especially with men talking to me.

I can't imagine what kind of scam they could do with the info you have given, but talking to the koban I think would be advised since they sometimes know what kind of people walk around there and if they are suspicious people or like I said just people trying to recrute.
by me (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Are we in danger? Japanese Buddha scam? 2019/9/16 10:36
In general, JP city residents will not approach a tourist in this way, for a range of reasons, cultural and linguistic. If you are visibly in difficulties, folk will offer assistance, and the locals might speak to you if you are standing next to them watching a procession or something, asking you where you are from, but the original incident sounds like a scam. Levels of fluent English are, on average, lower in JP than in other Asian countries - it is something the JP government endlessly worry about.

Don't feel bad that you gave out information. I understand why you did it. Politeness is hugely important in Japan. Police, paramedics and AirBnB hosts will ask to see your passport - you are legally obliged to carry it with you at all times, but if a stranger asks for your personal information, give out slightly incorrect details. Slightly incorrect name, address, d.o.b. etc. If they turn out to be legit, you can correct them later and apologise for your 'difficult accent'.

Although Japan is different, it's not another planet. Scams do happen, although most are JP on JP. If you think it is happening to you, I would advise fulsome apologies due to a 'tight itinerary' and then escape.

Don't bother with a koban visit. You will have to explain everything on the phone to a translator and they are unlikely to even file a report on it.
by David (guest) rate this post as useful

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