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Unemployment Triggering Online Scams in the Philippines

Unemployment Triggering Online Scams in the Philippines

It is no secret that the amount of people unemployed in the Philippines is very large. According to the Social Weather Stations (SWS) the unemployment rate hit 27% in the last quarter of 2014, which is equivalent to approximately 10.4 million Filipinos. The employment crisis is not new, however.  The country has been struggling to improve the economic conditions and decrease its crime rates.  The combination of factors creates the perfect ground for different types of scams that are affecting local people as well as people in other countries.  For many Filipinos conducting scams and marrying for papers or money, it’s a question of survival.  For many scam victims, it’s a question of trust and failing to get professional help with background checks and private investigations.

Our investigation team at Philippine PI summarized some of the most popular scams occurring online that have been triggered by unemployment and that may affect you:

Fake employment offers. This is one of the most popular types of online scams currently. Fraudsters create very attractive job offers and advertise in some of the most popular social media sites like Facebook, and in other popular sites for job searches, like Craiglist. Usually, there are not many details as to the employer, or the specific position required. However many people feel attracted to responding because the salary and benefits are very good. People who are looking for a job should be aware that any request for money is a major red flag. Commonly, scammers ask the victims for a fee to cover a certain process (documentation gathering, validation, translation, etc). The victims are so eager to be selected that agree to sending the money without questioning why. Our private investigators’ recommendation is to invest in getting a company background check before taking any further steps. Not only could you lose money but your personal information may also be at risk.

Dating scams. Although romance and employment may not seem related to each other, the truth is that for many people in the Philippines dating scams are an important means of income and represent almost a job that requires equal dedication and effort. With more than ten million people in the search for an employment opportunity and yet unable to find it, many of them turn to scamming as their only option. Crime rates are often triggered by situations of inequality, poverty and unemployment, and the Philippines is no exception. Internet access is easy and simple, and so is scamming.

Forgery and counterfeit. Black market services are abundant in the Philippines. Many of the people looking for a job will consider resume fraud, forging university certifications or even trying to get a fake visa to migrate and enter other countries.  Even government employees are in on it, in some cases.  A fake passport or visa can be bought if you know the right person.  For companies hiring Filipinos it is extremely important to conduct employment background checks, as the fraud activity has increased significantly with the services offered online to supply people with credentials and documents that will improve their chances.  Looking for a perfect resume, visa and passport to get that new job?  It can all be bought in the Philippines.  For employers, this is a good reason to speak to an expert about professional background check investigations by trained private investigators.

It is always important to remind the public in general that fraud and scams greatly increase in the saddest situations, and that criminals won´t be stopped because they see people in need. The best option is always to verify!  Don’t be a victim of fraud or scam.  If you’re considering hiring  or investing in the Philippines, or if you’ve recently met someone online, contact us!

C. Wright
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