A fake dating site offering desperate AKB48 fans the chance for an encounter with the object of their obsession has been busted, though not after managing to persuade 2100 'otaku' to spend hundreds of millions of yen.
Chiba prefectural police report arresting the 31-year-old CEO of a “deai-kei‘ dating site (the most common form of dating site in Japan) on organised crime related charges of systematic fraud.
He was found to have billed some 2100 users of 210 million yen ($2.6 million) by claiming to offer paid dates with the girls of AKB48 and other celebrities.
Investigators describe one such victim, a Kanto man in his twenties, who received mails from “AKBâ˜†Acchan‘ ‘“ a name resembling the nickname of AKB48 member Atsuko Maeda ‘“ and soon convinced himself he was actually exchanging mails with Atsuko herself.
The mails made careful reference to the sites of some 20 celebrities in order to craft vaguely convincing mails referring to their current activities.
Once the mark’s free trial period ended, he found himself paying 450 yen for each of these forged masterpieces of the impersonator’s art, and he subsequently came to believe himself to be in a relationship with the real Atsuko.
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