I’m going to tell you something, but keep it quiet, OK? This is just between you and I, and I want it to stay that way. I found gold! That’s right, you read it correctly, I’M RICH! Well, maybe I’m not, but you can’t imagine how many times I have heard this before. If you are not aware, treasure hunting is sort of a Philippine national pasttime, and especially here in Mindanao.
The king of the treasures is Yamashita’s Gold, and legend is that Yamashita’s Gold was hidden here in the Philippines back during World War II. Some people say that President Marcos got Yamashita’s Gold during his time as President. Others believe that the treasure is still hiding somewhere in the Philippines. For me, I really don’t care one way or another.
Do you know what the real treasure is that is being hunted? The money in the bank accounts of gullible foreigners. You see, there are lots of Filipinos who try to get foreigners to fund hunts for treasure, or try to scam foreigners by selling them fake treasure. It is very common, and it is something that you should look out for, in almost every case I have ever heard of, this is nothing but a scam.
A number of years ago when I first moved to the Philippines, I met a nice fellow from the USA. We originally met online, and we met in person when he came to the Philippines. This fellow worked in the International Shipping business, specifically shipping personal good for people who moved to other countries. This guy, I’ll call him Tony, was an intelligent guy, but he was taken in this scam, and it cost him a great deal. Not only did Tony lose a lot of money, he lost his job, he lost his wife, and a lot of other important things in his life.
You see, some of these scam artists came to Tony and told him that they had found treasure, and it included a lot of precious metals. They needed Tony to help them smuggle it out of the country, and he would get a percentage, of course, for his efforts. Tony’s connections to the shipping industry would give him all that was needed to become a multi-millionaire! Well Tony fell for the scam, and later his company found out. They fired him because he was using his company connections to dip into illegal activities. Tony wasn’t even worried about losing his job, though, because he was about to get a share of this huge precious metals find! Well, Tony had to put money into the deal to pull it off, and lo and behold, he later found out that the metals that were being shipped were nothing but scrap metals. He lost almost every important thing in his life, and a lot of cash too, and it was for nothing. I haven’t heard from Tony in the years since that happened. I think that he is too embarrassed to talk to me anymore.
What if you meet a fellow foreigner and he offers to let you in on a treasure find? Well, he is probably trying to rip you off too. Just because somebody is from the same country that you are from, it doesn’t mean that he is looking out for your best interests, you can bet on that. A number of years ago, I met an American guy at a local restaurant. He seemed to be a very nice guy, and I invited him and his wife to come to my house for dinner later in the week. He accepted my invitation. A day later, he sent me a text message and told me that he had come into some gold bars, and offered to sell some to me at half of the market price of gold. I told him that I wasn’t interested. Never heard from him again after that, and they didn’t show up for dinner either. I was a mark, and since he found out he couldn’t score from me, he moved on.
If you get approached about treasure, gold, other precious metals or anything of the sort, don’t just turn around and walk away – instead, you should RUN. It isn’t going to happen.