The government on Wednesday again warned the public against the members of a syndicate engaged in “love scam” whose illegal activity using social media continues.
In an advisory, the Bureau of Customs-Ninoy Aquino International Airport disclosed the fraudulent scheme of unscrupulous individuals texting, calling and even emailing supposed consignees of cargoes and parcels demanding sums of money as “Clearance Fees” for the release of shipments.
“They even use the names of Customs NAIA officials,” the bureau said.
NAIA District Collector Carmelita Talusan said her office had been receiving reports about the scheme through online, email, text message and calls.
The callers usually complain about packages or parcel shipments being “held by Customs” that were supposedly sent to them by their “chatmates” or “online friend.”
Talusan said Customs NAIA was not requiring “clearance fees”.
“Neither BoC-NAIA demand payment of Customs Duties and Taxes thru phone, nor receive payments thru money remittance centers or personal bank accounts,” she said.
Customs NAIA only accepts payment of Customs Duties and Taxes through Authorized Agent Banks or BOC-Cashiers and issues corresponding Official Receipts for payments made.
Scammers are using dummies or fake accounts in social media, emails, text messages or phone calls to lure victims. Some would even use the name of Customs bureau officials and pose as employees.
They usually get in touch with prospective victims online via chat or dating websites. After several weeks or even months, the perpetrators would send a message to their victims through email, promising to send gifts ranging from luxury bags, jewelry, laptop computers and other electronic gadgets via international door-to-door parcel.
Last December, the Department of Justice-Office of Cybercrime made the same warning to the public.