Beware: Earthquake Early Warning System Scam
The Japan Meteorological Agency introduced an “Earthquake Early Warning System” (kinkyuu jishin sokuhou, 緊急地震速報) in 2007. The early warning will only give you a few seconds’ notice that an earthquake is about to happen, but that could be enough time to get yourself to a safe place.
Recently, a few people have fallen victim to a scam involving the Earthquake Early Warning System. There are basically three patterns to this scam:
1. The scammer will go to an apartment building and ask one of the residents to open the door to the building because he is from the Meteorological Agency and he has come to install equipment for the Earthquake Early Warning System.
2. The scammer will claim to be doing a survey about the Earthquake Early Warning System and get people to divulge their personal information (name, address, etc.).
3. The scammer will tell people that he is selling equipment for the Earthquake Warning System on behalf of the local disaster response center (or the manager of the building) and that the residents are required to have it installed so they have to buy it.
The Meteorological Agency will not send anyone to your door regarding the Earthquake Early Warning System, and you are not obliged to buy any equipment or complete any surveys about this system. Please do not fall victim to this scam.
For more information about the Earthquake Early Warning System, please see this TsukuBlog article.