THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner reiterated an earlier warning to the public to be wary of scammers posing as immigration employees on Facebook.
The reminder stemmed from a complaint from an Indian student received by the BI earlier this month regarding a fake lawyer posing as an immigration hearing officer.
“We conducted an investigation and saw that there were many similar complaints in the past about this fake lawyer that introduced herself as a certain Atty. Lisa Perez Tubban,” said Morente.
“She presented herself as a fixer that can process the application of these students,” he added.
BI records showed that there was no such person employed by the agency.
“We suspect she’s using a fake name, as she used the photo of one of our contractual employees as her profile picture,” Morente said.
The victim, a female student in the country, started conversing with the suspect in February this year, following a disagreement with her school.
According to the BI, current rules authorize only school representatives to process applications on behalf of the students.
Because of the disagreement, the victim turned to Facebook to look for someone who could help her.
“The fake employee offered to process her application but requested pre-payment sent through online fund transfer,” said Morente.
The complaint said the victim paid a total of P45,000 in several tranches before the suspect stopped replying to her.
The incident prompted Morente to warn foreign students not to deal with individuals posing as BI employees online.
“These are all scams. Immediately report to the authorities if you encounter any such attempts,” Morente said.
The BI earlier posted a warning against fake immigration officers promising to escort travelers at the airport.
In 2019, the agency also warned against fake employees involved in a love scam.
The case, according to Morente, will be referred to the National Bureau of Investigation Anti-Cybercrime Group for investigation.