TAGUM CITY, Philippines—If you are giggling because you found a different kind of love online, you must think twice.
The Bureau of Customs – Port of Davao (BOC-Davao) warned the public of the online “love scam” which has duped local tourists with fake packages in exchange of huge amount of money.
In a October 30 statement, Customs Commissioner Joshua Andrei Bon Gilles said that BOC-Davao has received increasing reports from people who became victims of the so-called “Love Scam.”
How does the “love scam” work?
A fake Customs officer would befriend and pretend to be in love with their potential victims online. Scammers usually introduce themselves to their victims as foreigners and would promise their victims to send a package.
Victims will then be lured that the package was held by the Customs bureau and they are asked to produce a money so the package will be released.
Another modus of the scammers is that they inform directly their victims that a package was held at Customs and payment of a “customs fee” is needed to release the non-existent package.
Gilles said that scammers ask their victims for a custom administrative fee with the amount ranging from P10,000 to P17,000.
Recently, the BOC-Davao received a complaint from a daughter who travelled with her mother all the way from Tagum City to confirm if they must pay a certain Danica Mae Chavez with an amount of P10,000. Chavez introduced herself as an officer from the non-existent Clearance Department of the Bureau of Customs.
“Once the victim is convinced, another person will send an email or text message to the victim asking for ‘Customs Fee’ to be deposited to a bank account,” said Gilles.
BOC-Davao has advised the public “to be wary of people they meet online, and to not immediately trust messages saying they have a package when they are not expecting one.” (davaotoday.com)