The Philippines has become a hub for online scams in recent years due to the increasing use of the internet and the high rate of unemployment in the country. Some common online scams in the Philippines include investment scams, romance scams, job scams, and phishing scams.
Investment scams often involve promises of high returns on investments with little to no risk. Romance scams involve building a fake relationship with a victim to gain their trust and ultimately convince them to send money. Job scams involve offering a fake job opportunity in exchange for payment or personal information. Phishing scams involve tricking victims into giving away sensitive information such as passwords or credit card details.
Here are 20 common online scams in the Philippines with a brief description of how they operate:
- Investment Scam – Fraudulent individuals or groups lure investors to invest in a certain scheme that promises high returns in a short period of time.
Some of one of the hundreds of investment scams in the country:
- Online Shopping Scam – Scammers set up fake online shops or marketplaces and sell fake or non-existent products to unsuspecting victims. Check how this scam works: https://acg.pnp.gov.ph/main/types-of-scam/online-scam.html
- Lottery Scam – Scammers send emails or messages claiming that the victim has won a large sum of money from a lottery they did not participate in and ask for personal information or payment to claim the prize.
- Love Scam – Scammers create fake profiles on dating websites or social media platforms to trick people into falling in love with them and then asking for money.
- Job Scam – Scammers post fake job openings online and require payment for application fees or training expenses.
- Phishing Scam – Scammers send fake emails or messages that appear to be from legitimate companies or organizations to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details.
- Charity Scam – Scammers create fake charity organizations and solicit donations from unsuspecting victims.
- Tech Support Scam – Scammers pose as technical support agents and convince victims to allow them to remotely access their computer to fix non-existent issues and then charge them for the service.
- Clickbait Scam – Scammers create sensational or misleading headlines to entice victims to click on links that lead to malware-infected websites or request payment for access to content.
- Social Media Scam – Scammers create fake social media accounts and send friend requests to unsuspecting victims to obtain personal information or solicit payment.
- Travel Scam – Scammers offer fake travel packages or discounts and require payment in advance.
- Online Auction Scam – Scammers set up fake online auctions and sell fake or non-existent products to unsuspecting victims.
- Rental Scam – Scammers post fake rental listings online and ask for payment upfront before the victim can see the property. This includes car rental or other motor vehicles, event venues, hotels, and construction equipment.
- Health Scam – Scammers offer fake health products or services that claim to cure various diseases or ailments.
- Online Pharmacy Scam – Scammers sell fake or counterfeit prescription drugs online without a prescription. This includes products from well-known shopping sites in the country such as Lazada or Shopee. In this case, you must check the seller’s profile to avoid being the victim of these fake online stores.
- Investment Training Scam – Scammers offer expensive investment training courses or materials that promise to teach victims how to make money quickly. In this case, there is no such thing that you will get rich by having this training because investment practice is not just more about prediction, it includes luck. It is just like training in gambling, that games require a lot of luck.
- Insurance Scam – Scammers offer fake insurance policies or require payment upfront for processing legitimate policies.
- Work-From-Home Scam – Scammers offer work-from-home opportunities that require payment upfront for training or materials. Well, for everything online that will ask for a payment, you have to be vigilant right away by checking their company profile, the business website URL, if they are registered in Local Government Unit BPLO, if registered on SEC/DTI, or If they really exist as company locally or abroad, check for employees reviews and ask 10 people first around you if there are really legit. And again, if they are asking for money, it will be a red flag immediately, because you are looking for a job to be paid and there is no reason to pay them first.
- Ponzi Scheme – Scammers offer high returns to early investors using the funds from later investors, with no actual business or investment being conducted.
- Blackmail Scam – Scammers obtain sensitive or compromising information about victims and threaten to expose it unless payment is made.
It is important to be cautious and vigilant when engaging in any online transactions or interactions to avoid falling victim to these scams. Always triple-check the company or individual reputation to avoid being the victim of these sharks.
How to or Where to Report?
If you have fallen victim to an Philippines Online Scams, it’s important to report it to the proper authorities to help prevent further damage to others. Here are the steps you can take:
- Gather evidence: Collect as much evidence as possible, including emails, chat logs, transaction records, and screenshots of any relevant information.
- File a report with the Philippine National Police (PNP): You can visit your nearest police station or go to the PNP’s Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) website to file a report. Provide all the evidence you have collected and provide a detailed account of the scam.
- File a complaint with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI): You can also visit the NBI Cybercrime Division or submit a complaint online through their website.
- Report to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI): The DTI has a Consumer Protection Group that can assist you in filing a complaint against a business that has engaged in fraudulent activities.
- Report to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC): If the scam involves investments or securities, you can file a complaint with the SEC.
- Report to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP): If the scam involves a financial institution, you can report it to the BSP.
Remember to keep all communication and evidence related to the scam as it will help authorities to investigate the case. It’s also important to stay vigilant and educate yourself on how to identify and avoid online scams in the future.
If you experience being the victim of these scams? feel free to comment and share your experience with us.