Tokyo police have apprehended a software company president whose dating sites had been making fake profiles for female celebrities – with one such starlet being former AKB48 member Atsuko Maeda – whilst allowing users to then interact with the artificial maidens after spending exorbitant amounts of cash.
Employees of these dating sites were tasked with creating fake profiles of big name celebrities in an attempt to gull desperate users into shelling out – with one particularly lonely male having spent over ¥1.37 million just to send messages to a profile he believed was Atsuko Maeda.
The now arrested president was thought to have fled the country last month (likely to abandon ship and potentially start a new fraudulent service elsewhere), but later returned to Japan, resulting in his capture.
Profits over a two-year period ending in 2012 have been estimated to be about ¥11.6 billion, with most of the revenue believed to have been generated by the company’s fraudulent activities.
Such scams are unfortunately more frequent than might be expected, although when it comes to AKB the groups’s legitimate antics are scarcely any better than its ecosystem of fraudsters…