Valentine’s Day warning: Avoid falling for love scams

Valentine’s Day warning: Avoid falling for love scams
(Pixabay Photo)

POLICE Lieutenant Colonel Janette Rafter of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) warned the public not to fall for love scams they come across on social media with Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14 fast approaching.

Scam Watch Pilipinas, a privately funded government organization that seeks to educate Filipinos against fraud on the Internet, cautioned the public as scammers target people by inviting them to become their lovers or friends online in order to obtain money. They especially target those who are single and therefore most vulnerable to falling for the scam.

“Kita mismo no, ma babaye man o laki o kinsa man gani diha sa atoang komunidad, let us be very cautious. Kun naa man gani mopadayag og gugma nga murag dinalian kaayo ba nga “too good to be true,” magbantay na g’yud ta ana,” Rafter said.

(We, ourselves – women, men or anybody else in our community, should exercise extreme caution. We should exercise caution when someone makes a hasty, “too good to be true,” love proposal).

Eight scams

Scam Watch classified love scammers into eight categories: 1. Sad boy or girl – when someone borrows money while acting depressed; 2. The Seducer -- who will plead for money with his attractiveness; 3. The Investor -- someone who convinces a potential investor to invest by posing as a successful businessman; 4. The Serviceman -- who deceives his potential victim by posing as a police officer or member of the armed forces; 5. The Escort – who entices their target with alluring profile photos; 6. The Slow Burn -- a con artist who tries to win people over; 7. The Blackmailer – the one who will woo the victim into falling in love with him in exchange for her consent to have intimate pictures shot. The images will then be used for blackmail; and 8. The Predator – elderly folk who prey on young individuals.

The Philippine National Police Anti-Cyber Crime Unit 7 has provided information on the internet on how to avoid falling victim to various types of online scams.

In addition, Scam Watch Pilipinas offers a hotline that individuals can contact to report an online scam to the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC), an attached agency of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

The Inter-Agency Response Center Hotline 1326 is powered by the DICT and the CICC. / TPT


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