Two unemployed Japanese make fake reservations for about 28,000 hotel rooms to earn points

Two unemployed Japanese men, Ken Muranaka, 28 and Kensaku Obara, 27 suspected of making fake reservations for about 28,000 hotel rooms on an online hotel reservation site in order to earn points were arrested today in Japan. Obara reportedly said to the police that he gained hundreds of thousands of yen’s worth of points in a week by making reservations and used the points to stay at hotels or bought videogame software. Ken Muranaka, 28, and Kensaku Obara, 27, both of no fixed address, stand accused of obstructing business. Obara is accused of similarly making false reservations for hotel rooms on his mobile phone on April 27 and 29.

Investigators said those who make hotel reservations on the Rakuten Travel site can earn 1 point per 100 yen of accommodations fees. Accumulated points can be used to stay at hotels or buy goods. The two made false reservations for approximately 28,000 rooms at about 1,600 hotels across Japan, thereby obstructing the hotels’ business activities, investigators suspect. They never cancelled their reservations.