Beware of online 'love scammers' this Valentine's Day

By | 4:48 AM 1 comment
Beware of online 'love scammers' this Valentine's Day


So, your online "lover" just sent a message that he had just sent a package containing expensive gifts – such as designer bags, jewelry, laptops and smart phones – via international door-to-door parcel, complete with a tracking number and invoice for the supposed shipment.

He's British so you tend to believe that he did spent a lot of cash just to please you this Valentine's Day.

Hold on to your straw hats, babe, he may just be another "love scammer" whose only intention is to extort money from their Filipino victims.

According to a Philstar news article, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said the online syndicate often targets single men and women who are looking for love online. They are also using the name of the bureau for their illegal activities.

This is how they dupe you into "giving away" your hard earned cash:

1. Oftentimes, this "lover" introduces himself as a "lonely" foreigner from Australia, United Kingdom or the United States and scouts for his prospective victims through Internet chat rooms, dating sites, or social networking sites like Facebook.

2. After getting his victim's trust (and several weeks of courtship), he would then send a message that he had sent a parcel -- a box-load of super expensive gifts such as designer bags, smartphones and laptops via international door-to-door delivery.

3. After several days, the victims would then receive an email, phone call, or text message allegedly from a BOC employee, informing them that a package was being held in the bureau and that it would be sent to them only after they pay duties and taxes to be deposited in a designated bank account or money transfer service.

4. The supposed BOC employee would even provide details of the breakdown of customs duties and taxes as proof. However, even after depositing the money, the victims would never get their packages.

BOC commissioner John Sevilla said:

“Please be advised that with regard to packages, parcels or even balikbayan boxes, the Bureau of Customs deals with the consolidator, forwarder or courier in charge of your package directly so if ever there is a problem with your packages, the BOC will not call, text or email you but will communicate with your consolidator, forwarder or courier,” 

For more information, you can always get in touch with the BOC through +632 9173201, email: ocompacd@gmail.com, and Twitter: @CustomsPH.





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