We usually just read it in the news or watch it on TV. Scams are everywhere, even here in the Philippines. Many of us don’t even know that reporting this crime to the right authority is a very serious case – we don’t just report it on social media sites. Bringing the issue to the correct teams and people would eventually make this stop. Moreover, it would slowly threaten the erroneous community of scams and would therefore allow legitimate businesses take over.
Why are scams everywhere? What do they actually do?
Scammers or online criminals do their modus operandi by establishing first and acquiring a lot of people. Once they’re overall established, they would then start unloading whatever it is they have to unload for them to get what they want.
In all fairness, these scams are worth looking at. Here in the Philippines, there are a lot of scams especially in Facebook groups. Businesses that would give you assurance that would make you rich; companies and corporations that would promise things that are too good to be true.
What do they get? They don’t only get money, they also have access to these people’s profiles and they can steal their identity; mark their systems and somehow infiltrate it to juice out even more money; get access to banking information, and so on.
Fraudulent activities or deceiving other people, companies, or even organizations to gain money or anything of value is considered a scam. Scammers use various gimmicks to make their victims believe in whatever they say.
Here are some of the cardinal signs of scams here in the Philippines:
Investment offers or plans
Receiving unsolicited investment offers from people or organizations that you haven’t heard of. A good way to tell if an email is legit is by checking its domain (gmail.com for example). Big investment firms or at least legitimate ones pay for their own email domains. Some scammers even just send text messages using an ordinary phone number.
The return of investments or the profits from their offers are fast and yields lots of money compared to the required investment fund. These are too good to be true.
Submission of necessary requirements or investments
Pressuring a potential victim to submit necessary requirements. Usually sensitive information such as complete name with middle name, emails and passwords, and some even ask for bank account information.
Sketchy or doubtful processes
There are transaction fees or membership fees prior to seeing the proposals. If the offer given to you requires making a bank deposit or money transfer to a personal account, most likely, you are being tricked. The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) receipts should always be present for any transactions involving money.
They would only want to get in touch with you personally but only NOT in their “office”
They want to meet you anywhere but their office. If they ask to meet you at a coffee shop, mall, fast food restaurant. Think twice. DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) and SEC (Securities and Exchange Commissions) ensure that a business is registered and has the capability to rent a decent office. So if they can’t provide proof of an office, then you better start checking it thoroughly. Who would want to put money on something that doesn’t even have a decent space, right?
According to SEC, you can protect yourself from these scammers by checking the following information:
- Name of the person and the company making the offer;
- Valid address of the person or the office of the company;
- Contact information such as phone numbers. Landline numbers are highly preferable;
- SEC registration of the company and what the company should really be offering;
By gathering these details, you can be at least at ease that you are talking to a legitimate company or person. If they refuse to provide those information, better not continue doing transaction or better, report it immediately to the correct teams for them to have a check if it’s legit or not…
Where can I report these scammers?
In the event that you encounter these cardinal signs of scams, you don’t post it on Facebook or just tell your friends about it. What you should do instead is you can directly report them to:
Securities and Exchange Commission
Secretariat Building, PICC Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City
www.sec.gov.ph | Enforcement and Investor Protection Department
contact number: (+632) 584-0923
fax number: (+632) 584-5293)
Department of Trade and Industry
385 Industry and Investments Bldg., Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City
www.dti.gov.ph | [email protected]
(+632) 751-0384 (Trunk Line) | (+632) 975-7965 (Complaints)
Public Attorney’s Office
4th & 5th Floors DOJ Agencies Building, Diliman, Quezon City
www.pao.gov.ph | [email protected]
(02) 929-9436 (Hotline) | Local 106, 107, 159
Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group Building, Camp Crame, Quezon City
www.pnpacg.ph | Anti-Cybercrime Group
+63 (02) 414-1560 | 09985988116 (Hotline)
National Bureau of Investigation
NBI Building, Taft Avenue, Ermita, Manila
www.nbi.gov.ph | [email protected]
(+632) 532-8231 to 532-8238
Although a lot of us already has gut feeling about scams, there are still people who needs guidance. Thousands of scams are being born everyday and they’re running around like nobody’s watching them. Basing it on experience, you should never be trustworthy of anyone who would ask for a certain amount upfront without even showing you what you would be handling.
In conclusion, you should have a keen eye on everything you are joining. Not only because they have a lot of people patronizing and marketing them doesn’t mean that they’re 100% legit. Spread this to share knowledge and of course to protect your peers from scams.