Sometimes, Crime Comes Calling...
1 year ago

The Soggy Bread Scam

Takeshi Iwamoto may be an evil, non-violent, genius

Episode Notes

This is one of the stories in my up-coming book Food Criminals!

Dial-A-Crime-TakeshiIwamoto SUMMARY KEYWORDS soggy bread, supermarket, bread, reveled, japanese culture, call, storytime, indignant, problem, late 40s, give, manager, sense, pull, ways, higher ups, boys, chain, cash, communication networks SPEAKERS

Christopher Garcia Christopher Garcia  Hey, boys, it's Papa. I'm not going to make it home in time to read you your storytime. Or play your playlist Ben, I'm sorry. But instead, how about I tell you a story about? Christopher Garcia  Well, it's a kind of a funny story. Christopher Garcia  So I know you've heard of bread, I cook it for you into toast every day. This is a story about a scammer. And his name is Takeshi Iwamoto, and Iwamoto was in his late 40s. And he was living in Tokyo, but he didn't have a job took us an expensive city. And so he started to think of ways that he could make money. And of course, the government gave him some, but it's never enough. So you have to go and figure out ways to make money. And sometimes you go with ideas that aren't exactly good. And so what Ishimoto did, very, very simply, was, he would call a supermarket. And he would say, I bought bread from you, and it's soggy. And he would get all indignant and the Japanese culture is very different. And so you want to make it right. But he would be indignant. And he would say, you know, I'm going to call the head office. And then he'd hang up, and then there'd be a call 20 minutes later. And it was the head office. And they would say, How dare you provide soggy bread? This is not right. So instead, he would say, your supermarket has to give the person who bought the soggy bread, two new bags of bread, and all the cash you brought in today to make it right. And they would hang up and a little bit later, it would show up and hand over all the cash and two things are bred. The thing is he, the guy Iwamoto. He was the guy who called as the member of the head office, he was pretending to be him. So that they would give him the money. Now, there are a couple of reasons why this works. Probably not in America, but definitely in Japan. One, there are problems with communication networks. And he would come up with ways of you might not know everyone in the chain above you, particularly if you're just an owner of a small supermarket. Christopher Garcia  As a part of a chain, you might not know everyone who's above you, the Japanese business world is much more hierarchical. So a local owner might know the manager one above and maybe the one above that. But if a call is coming, say from a senior vice president or something, they may have no idea who they are. And most Japanese business people are in the habit of doing what their higher ups tell them. So this would make much sense that he would be able to pull this off. And he would do it multiple times. Like he would do it. And then he would run through the money. And when it was done, he would do it again. Same scam, soggy bread days, too low lobes and a day's worth of cash. And it worked for five years he did this. And one of the reasons why is likely to have kept going is that this is something that would be not a positive and it's not likely that a franchise manager would say to another manager, you know, hey, we got this guy came in and did this and made this change, because they would internalize the problem as the soggy bread. They don't want the knowledge that the soggy bread was from them. They want to pull as far away from that as possible, which makes sense. Particularly in Japanese culture. So this wonderful idea that he had would just keep going and going and going. But eventually he got caught and he admitted to having done it for five years and sort of reveled in the the spotlight because he was doing what he needed to do to survive. Christopher Garcia  Okay boys, I love you go to bed by

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