Please view the main text area of the page by skipping the main menu.

Japan consumer watchdog issues warning over YouTube get-rich-quick scam

TOKYO -- The Consumer Affairs Agency issued a warning on April 26 over a pricey manual and course that falsely promised to teach customers how to "rake in 500,000 yen a month with just 15 minutes of work" making YouTube videos.

    According to the agency, about 5,000 people bought the manual from Tokyo-based firm Image, which the agency named in its warning on April 26 under the Consumer Safety Act. Of these, some 1,300 also took the associated course the firm offered. Image priced the manual at 5,000 to 17,000 yen per copy, and the course at 100,000 to 1.3 million yen. The company earned some 300 million yen in revenue from the scheme.

    The consumer watchdog said Image promoted the get-rich-quick manual on its website and on social media from June to December last year, raking in customers with a cash-back guarantee. It then put heavy pressure on manual buyers to also sign up for the course. However, despite the company's claims, customers found it difficult to earn money on YouTube.

    Local consumer affairs centers across Japan received a total of 99 complaints about the scheme, with combined damages reaching some 17 million yen. Victims were aged from their teens to their 70s. Image has admitted to the consumer agency's accusations, stating that it "wanted to make money." The firm shut down its website at the end of 2017.

    (Japanese original by Reiko Oka, Lifestyle News Department)

    Also in The Mainichi

    The Mainichi on social media