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Watching for scammers

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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.

How to Move to the Philippines Manual

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.

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Bob Martin

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.

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Gerwin
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Gerwin

😎 😆 Good job buddy… that's why I hate people who try and be the love doctor… who the **** do they think they are… they don't even know me… lately since my connection to my old home I've been asked to "date" someone … 😮 … so for all you guys out there… I'm not saying you shouldn't but as he said, be careful…

Paul
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Paul

Just thought I'd mention something I had cause for concern about a while back. Was once chatting to a 'friend'. This 'friend' got herself a new job within a week of chatting to her, at a call centre, allegedly selling phonecards abroad. Naturally she asked me to buy one, not that it'd be much use in the UK. Of course, if I was to purchase one of these phonecards I would've had to give credit/debit card details. Jokingly, I told her it was a nice scam, we never chatted again!

Bob
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Bob

Hi Paul – I have no doubt that what you describe is a scam. Here in the Philippines, they cannot charge a credit card without the card holder being present and signing the slip. What was probably going on was that they planned to get the card details and use them to buy things from foreign websites that did not need card holder signature in order to make the sale.

Smart move!

Peter Bennett
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Its a good story Bob, I think I make alot of mention about these mattters on various parts of my own website, alot of my countrymen have sadly been scammed by unscrupulous Filipino's my favourite is the sick caribou ! and the vet bill needs to be paid or the family will starve ! my other favourite is the roof blew off in a typhoon, and the family is sleeping under the stars, the girl needs money to have it fixed, she needs say Php 25,000 to have it fixed, to some western guys, its not a lot of money,… Read more »

Bob
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Bob

Hi Peter – you are spot on!

julius
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julius

My safety tip to ward off scammers: If you can't see em', touch em', smell em', and feel em' for yourself, don't buy em'. Till next time….

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