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Number of Victims of Online Scam in the Philippines Increases

Number of Victims of Online Scam in the Philippines Increases

Online scams are not just a game anymore in the Philippines. The Philippine National Police Anti Cyber Crime Group has received more than twelve hundred complaints of online crime from 2013 to date, including online scams (in the top of the list of complaints), identity theft, online investment fraud and other types of internet crime.   Online scamming is a big business in the Philippines.

According to private investigators in Manila, a large percentage of the victims of online fraud originating in the Philippines affects foreigners. The victims rarely report the crime and if they do, usually they report it with their local authorities.  So what this really means is that the problem is far greater than what the Philippine National Police actually reports. Online fraud crosses boarders and affects thousands of people from all around the world, and a great deal of this industry is originating in the Philippines.  To be safe, all internet contacts should be properly verified.

There are several important reasons why online scams in the Philippines still thrive. In the first place, scammers are increasingly sophisticated at coming up with ways to trick people out of their money.  They know very well how to do their job. Those scammers who operate through online dating and social media sites can be very emotionally manipulative and if people resist them they can become quite abusive as well.  “People think they will know if they´re being deceived, but it is not that obvious”, says Nathan Mendoza, Director of Background Checks at Philippine PI. In most cases it takes a professional investigator to unveil the scam.  Most clients with they got a background check sooner.

Some of the fraudsters will not necessarily interact with you, but try to get a hold of financial information using different methods. With most financial transactions now done online, scammers have adapted their techniques to try to get victims´ money and financial details through fake websites or sending emails asking for bank details.  Make not mistake, just emailing or chatting with someone in the Philippines can be a dangerous game.  If there is communication, there is risk.

The other reason why the number of victims continues to increase is that people are not using as much as they should the tools available to prevent online scam. Getting a background check in the Philippines is not a luxury; it is a necessity if you want to avoid being a victim. Many of the victims wait until it is too late or try to do their own investigations online, but soon they discover how hard it is to find real evidence, especially if they are overseas. Private investigations are designed to provide relevant information in order to prevent bad things from happening, it is important to remain cautious and let professional local investigators take care of this, so you know the facts.

Finally, the last reason why online scam is hard to stop and why authorities have a hard time catching the people responsible is because people hardly report they have been a victim. Many people feel embarrassed and violated and can sometimes feel that it is their fault if they fall for an online scam. This means that the extent of this crime is under reported to the police. Managing this growing area of crime is challenging, and because these crimes are online those who perpetrate these scams are detached from the consequences of what they do and are likely to feel less guilt. Individuals who are the targets of online scams suffer considerable distress and financial loss, so there is a need to find ways to help stop individuals and organizations from falling prey to these influences.

You can help reduce the number of victims in two ways. Number one, verify every person you deal with online. Get a background check investigation from a reputable investigator no matter if it is a personal or a business matter. Not being a victim yourself is the first step. And number two, if you were a victim, report it to the authorities! They may work on finding the people responsible.

C. Wright
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