This morning I got an e-mail from somebody who reads one of my other blogs. He is in an “over the internet” relationship with a girl who lives in another city here in Mindanao. The girl had e-mailed him saying that one of her relatives is sick and in the hospital. But… they have no money for treatment and the person who is sick will die if they don’t get treatment. She is asking him to send money so that the sick patient can receive treatment.
There is a slight problem, though… The hospital where the girl says the patient is hospitalized does not exist! She gave the name of the facility to the guy, and he e-mailed me and asked me to verify that this person is a patient there. I checked the phone book for that city, and no such facility is listed in the phone book. I also spoke with a doctor in the area, and she told me there is no such hospital.
Funny thing is, this is not unusual. It is a scam, and a common one. I actually get this same e-mail from people abroad about 6 to 8 times per year. So, this happens all the time. Imagine how many people fall for the scam? You can imagine, there are many many people who don’t e-mail me to check this out (or e-mail anybody else for that matter), they just send the money.
The point is… if you are in such a long distance relationship with somebody that you’ve never met in person, be careful. There are a lot of scammers out there, after all.