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Philippines Investigators See Rise in Fake Company Websites

Philippines Investigators See Rise in Fake Company Websites

The Philippines has been consistently one of the fastest economic growing countries in the South East Asia region and the world. With a high level of proficiency in English and a population eager to work abroad or with foreigners, the Philippines’ economy rapidly advances in global services and trade. Despite the downturns of the recent pandemic, investors see great opportunity in doing business in this country.  With that said, where there is potential reward, there is serious risk.

Although the Philippines has moved from a lower middle-income nation to an upper middle-income country in just 20 years, and poverty has declined, it still remains a high risk country for fraud and scams. Private detectives in Manila have sensed an increase in online scam cases, which is concerning given the high rates this country already had. This doesn’t mean that every business or personal relationship from the Philippines will be fraudulent, but it is better to be skeptical when it comes to certain transactions.  A significant number of reported crime cases involving fake company websites has sent local law enforcement scrambling to try to prevent the problem.

In the past 2 years, the number of fraudulent websites that have been used to install malware worldwide has tripled. Authorities suspect a great deal of those fraudulent websites originate in the Philippines. The malware is intended to acquire your usernames, passwords and banking details in order to access your accounts. Targeted attacks are also becoming more common, especially against fairly small companies. To attract attention, scammers imitated email messages and websites of companies whose products or services their potential victims could be using. Most of the cases filed are fake copies of the websites of banks and other credit and financial organizations.

But, in addition to those designed to steal your passwords, there are a growing number of sites that are part of online scam or fraud, posing as a reputable company to scam internet users.  Investigators in the Philippines have received an increasing number of reports of suspicious activities from well-known companies and organizations. The fact is that the victims have not been contacted by the real deal, but by an impostor using a fake website. The scammers’ goal is to gain your trust, and get you to do business with them.  Once they receive your payment or investment, these internet criminals move on to the next victim.  Prevention is key.

The challenge to identify all of these fake websites engaged in fraud is not an easy task.  Expert investigators in Manila and Cebu can help by conducting a background check or due diligence investigation on the company and website.

One of the main challenges we are currently facing is how heavily we rely on online transactions, especially since Covid-19 surged and travelling bans were put in place. The risks have increased a lot more since the beginning of 2020. However, this does not mean that you can’t do business online, it just means that you would have to be careful.  International investigators recommend for individuals and companies to always verify the legitimacy of the parties involved in order to make informed decisions. A company verification should be done whenever you are starting a new business or business relationship.  Ignoring the risk can be a costly mistake and learning lesson.

C. Wright
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