The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) issued a warning to the public to be cautious with their social media activities with the troubling rise of online romance swindling schemes specifically targeting overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
The warning was issued in the wake of the latest report of a Filipina OFW based in Switzerland who was victimized by her “rich foreigner boyfriend,” who extorted around CHF 40,000 (Swiss francs), or an estimated P2.5-million, from the victim’s hard-earned savings and personal loans.
“Kami po ay nakikiusap sa mga kababayan natin na huwag magpalinlang sa mga online romance o love scams. Huwag magpapadala sa matatamis na salita ng mga taong hindi ninyo nakita. Marami na po silang mga nabiktima mula sa iba’t-ibang bansa. Maging mapagmatyag po tayo at pahalagahan ang ating ipon na mula sa ating pawis at dugo,” said MWO Geneva in its report.
As explained in DMW’s news website posted today (6 Sept), the modus operandi of the scammer pretending to be a ‘rich foreigner’ starts with earning the affection, trust, and ‘love’ of the victim. Once the victim’s confidence is gained, the scammer will ask for an amount of money with a promise of sending a bigger amount in return by courier. With claims of fake “customs-related issues” in getting his money to the unknowing victim, the ‘lover’ then convinces the OFW to send more money to ‘facilitate’ the alleged problem.
The DMW reminded the OFWs to be wary of the schemes, and should remain cautious and refrain from giving any amount of their hard-earned money and life savings to their supposed ‘online romantic partners.’
OFWs on-site who are victimized by the said modus operandi may seek proper assistance from the respective Migrant Workers Office and Philippine Embassy that has the jurisdiction over their jobsite.
Also, any suspicious activities pertaining to online illegal recruitment scams can be reported to the DMW Migrant Workers Protection Bureau through their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/airbranch or email at email@example.com and also through their hotline number 8721-0619.