I would just want to cover this topic quickly because it’s so varied and an open book it all comes down to 90% common sense.
Firstly the Philippines has opened up various ways to make money with the internet business as the technology swept the nation not all legal or desirable there is often TV show raids by police of Cybersex dens which are live fed pay to view shows on the internet. But there is also the small-scale petty thieving that has developed into a cottage industry “internet Scamming”.
Now for the average person in the Philippines they are nothing to do with it but it does appear when you browse dating sites etc. to be a large industry which is swamping a lot of the sites. Why? Because the average person in the Philippines if they can find work will be working 8 hours a day upwards then travelling for an hour to and from work so they aren’t spending hours on the internet each day. Where a scammer is sat generally in an internet cafe or at home stalking dating sites for easy prey. The easiest way to describe the industry is fishing.. Because they pull in a guy and with a bit of practice they can easily hook him and know how to keep him on the line..
The result being a Win.. which is a trip to Western Union to pickup the money you sent. So how do you spot a scammer?
For the majority its pretty easy they are looking to get bits of money asap so will move onto the subject pretty swiftly telling you they have a sick child, mother, father or anything else that will need a small amount. As time goes on and you get spun into these lies you start to think well its easier if I send a regular monthly allowance since things are going well and your now part of her Western Union weekly/monthly collection. I’ve seen it first hand when I headed into SM one day to cash a Xoom transfer and the girl in front of me who was late teens early twenties with her boyfriend had four collection slips I noticed they all come from different countries. Lets put it this way they didn’t look like they were doing too bad out of it. In fact they were wearing designer clothing. So not only are you being ripped off you are pretty much being made a fool of but why do they do it?
- It’s an easy way to make money.
- You’re a foreigner you can afford it.
- It’s over the internet they can disappear who is going to catch them.
- It’s a crime where I have never heard of any prosecutions.
- You’re an easy target.
- You give money too easily.
They feed on the stories of poverty and illness and use and abuse it to the max. The reason I posted this topic is to just get the point across that this may seem like a minor crime to the people committing it but long-term they are affecting the view on the Philippines by outsiders.
There is also the fact that many of the people doing it are in fact gay guys. Not sure they are all intentionally go out they’re way to do this as a scam because I am aware of several people who arrived in Cebu and expected a welcoming committee to find out no one was there.. why? because the girl was a guy in several cases the girl/boy has sent a relative to explain the situation and it all gets a mess. But the point is it happens and way to often. The negative effects can be quite severe. For example a friend of mine met a girl online and things seemed to be going well then one day I popped round to his house for a coffee and he showed me a few photos. Instantly I recognised the woman was a man. Although my friend was blind to the fact he approached the girl about it the following day and asked her to stand up. An argument then happened and that was the end of that. Another guy pretending to be a woman who has now ended up with my friend never coming to the Philippines as he has been put off for life.
Now it’s not always easy to spot someone who is scamming in fact in some cases it’s a pretty complicated bit of work being done. Last year someone posted on a forum regarding a robbery that happened to his girlfriend on route to Cebu to get her paperwork for immigration to the U.S. all the money, jewellery and other items were stolen at pier 1 in Cebu. by a taxi driver.
The post resulted in someone looking into the robbery and contacting the local police stations to find out where she had reported the robbery. At this point the girlfriend suddenly changed her story to not reporting the crime. That was when an investigation was carried out to confirm what really was going on. The result was the fact the woman was scamming several guys for several years. They had all sent money to help with illness in the family, rented a new apartment and even furnished it all several times so you can imagine she was getting at least four good incomes from guys. Then no doubt selling the jewellery from engagement rings etc. from the fake robbery taking the guys for complete idiots. Thing is even when the guy had visited the kids that often visited were supposed to be the neighbours kids but in fact were the woman’s.
Now I normally don’t do this but anyone who is a serial scammer can be posted here below. But you need to give enough information so it can be confirmed. The reason for this is I don’t want ex wives being posted over bitter disputes.