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Gay Filipinos Using Blackmail to Earn Big – Be Safe and Verify

Gay Filipinos Using Blackmail to Earn Big – Be Safe and Verify

A few years ago, the Philippines was ranked as one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world. It is no secret that the Philippines is a very religious country. As one of the only Christian nations in all Asia, the weight of their catholic beliefs has a great impact in the rest of the culture and society, and its conservative views are central in people´s lives.  It is a surprise then that despite its religiosity, the Philippines is one of the countries in the world where the level of public acceptance of homosexuals is very high, even though not even divorce is tolerated in this country.

Although the real tolerance of homosexuality in the Philippines is still discussed, the fact that the Filipinos have been mediatized for having such an acceptance of homosexuality has led to turn the country into a favorite destination for gay people looking for love and a getaway. Gay tourism has boomed and there are many online dating websites specifically for this population.  Criminals have also put their hands on this business and have found a way to profit from innocent people.

For many gay people in other countries, being themselves is impossible. Many of these people see the Philippines a safe place to look for the relationship they could not have in their home countries, but beware!  Gays conducting fraud and homosexual scams are a major problem.

Criminals are aware of opportunity to make money and take advantage of foreigners coming to the Philippines, or those just online thinking about it.  They are now engaging in relationships with foreigners looking for romance and fun,  but their only purpose is to gain their trust and blackmail them when they have enough information and evidence.  Do you use your webcam?  Be advised many criminals are now recording the content to blackmail victims.  Even if your webcam is off, if it is not covered with tape, criminals can remotely turn on webcams without victims knowing.

Private investigators in the Philippines say that this problem has transcended the Internet.  Recently,  most of these criminals that engaged in blackmail operated online only. They would request the victim to send through the Internet nude pictures or to be part of a sex video session. Many people would agree because they felt the other party was someone they could trust, someone who had been in a relationship with them for quite a time. However, the criminals had just been playing a role. The goal in this schemes is to obtain enough photographs, videos, and chat conversations to threaten the victim with making them public and sharing them with co-workers, friends and family.

Victims in most cases agree to pay, and there are cases of people who have lived under the stress and paying a regular sum of money for a long time.  Before sending money to anyone threatening you with blackmail or extortion, talk to a reputable private investigator about your options.

Investigators in Manila also alert gay and homosexual people that travel to the Philippines to be especially cautious. As mentioned before, the problem has transcended the Internet and many people are being victim to their gay partners that they met in the Philippines.  In most of these cases,  the criminals are far more aggressive and the consequences can be very serious.

Avoiding blackmail starts with prevention. If you are a foreigner and have met a Filipino, the recommendation is to always hire a professional who can conduct a background check investigation in the Philippines. Verifying that this person is who he or she claims to be is an important step into building trust and deciding whether or not to take a step ahead in a relationship. Once the person has been verified, surveillance in the Philippines is recommended to leave no loose ends.

Another very important tip is to always keep in mind that your privacy is extremely important. Before sharing your personal information or engaging in any photo sharing or video chat that may put your privacy at risk, think about how it could go wrong. Never share information or pictures with someone you have not verified and do not know for sure it is someone to trust!

C. Wright

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