The Securities and Exchange Commission warned the public about the proliferation of the so-called 419 financial fraud, also known as Nigerian scam, in the Philippines.
The SEC said in an advisory posted on its website it received reports that a financial scheme similar to the Nigerian scam had victimized a lot of Filipinos.
It said like other financial scams, the modus operandi of Nigerian scam was to ask the victim to send cash upfront by promising them large amount of money that they would receive later if they would cooperate.
The scam usually begins with a letter or email purportedly sent to a selected recipient but actually sent to many, making an offer that would allegedly result in large pay-off for the victim.
The scammers hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal address and by communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
The SEC said the scammer would usually contact the victim via email or social networking message and tell them about an elaborately fake story such as a consignment of a large amount of money usually in US currency which would be transferred to the victim’s account via diplomatic courier company.
The victim will then be asked to receive the consignment box in the Philippines for safekeeping on the condition that the victim will pay for the local delivery charges for the consignment box. In return, the victim will be promised a substantial gain for little effort.
The SEC said in the end, the victims of these scams were only being tricked into sending money to the scammers and they would never receive the promised money.
“In view thereof, the public is advised to be cautious in sending money to anyone, unless you are certain that it is a legitimate request and if you know the person well based on your internet correspondence,” SEC said.
The SEC also issued an advisory regarding scammer under the name Just 950.
According to the SEC, Just 950 was not registered with the corporate regulator and it had no license to solicit investments from the public.
The SEC said based on its investigation, Just 950 was inviting the public to invest at least P950 for 1 slot with a promised payout of P2,300.
“Those who invite or recruit other people to join or invest in this venture or offer investment contracts or securities to the public may be held criminally liable or accordingly sanctioned or penalized,” the SEC said.