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Mai Watanabe, a young self-proclaimed dating scammer, was arrested for selling how-to guides on defrauding ‘sugar daddies’ through paid dating.
25-year-old Watanabe, who hails from Nagoya, Japan, was arrested in August for selling a number of dating scam manuals to her social media followers. featuring titles like ‘Textbook for Sugar Babies: The Right Profile and Magical Words to Make Men Pay,’ these books went into great detail about the right way to approach vulnerable middle-aged men and get as much money from them as possible. One of these controversial guidebooks taught readers to tell their sugar daddies that they had had an unhappy childhood, in order to gain their sympathy and open their pockets. Other tactics included lying that they were unable to work due to ill health and that they urgently needed help to pay rent.
According to sources from the Naka Police Department, Watanabe started selling her scamming manuals last year, for prices between 10,000 yen ($67) and 20,000 yen ($134), with private lessons available for an additional fee. Japanese media reported that the young woman managed to sell around 2,000 copies of her books before being arrested.
Police started investigating Watanabe after arresting a 20-year-old woman who they believe managed to swindle a total of 10.65 million yen ($72,000) from two men in Aichi Prefecture using tactics from Watanabe’s books. The author, who goes by “Itadakijoshi Riri-chan (Riri the Sugar Baby),” online, admitted to the allegations, saying she knew that she was helping her customers commit fraud.
But just how good of a sugar daddy swindler was Mai Watanabe? One would have to consider themselves an expert in order to sell a manual on the practice, right? Well, it turns out that the 25-year-old woman was a seasoned ‘papa katsu’ (paid dating) master. In September, Japanese newspaper The Mainichi reported that she had been accused of swindling 27 million yen (approximately $182,500) from a 50-year-old man by telling him that she had borrowed money from an acquaintance to open her own apparel shop and that she was going to have to sell her body at a brothel to pay them back.
Last month, The Mainichi published new accusations against Mai Watanabe, this time from a 54-year-old man who claimed to have transferred a total of roughly 117 million yen (about $780,000) to Riri the Sugar Baby.