Customs chief warns vs Net fraud, BOC poseursBy Tina G. Santos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Saturday warned the public anew against fraudulent communication, either through mail or the Internet, as the purpose of the scam is to extort money from unwary victims.
Customs Commissioner Rufino Biazon said the people behind the fraud were posing as customs officers.
Biazon said he continued to receive reports from people who got notices from supposed customs officials advising them that their packages were being held and would not be released until they paid a certain amount through money transfer.
“The Bureau of Customs never sends letters of notice about packages from abroad and duties to be paid to individuals as it is only the Postal Service Office (PSO) that sends out the notices,” Biazon said in a statement.
He said the customs bureau’s responsibility was only to assess the value and to collect payments for dutiable goods sent through the postal service.
“Should there be payments for duties and taxes, its payee shall be the Bureau of Customs and not somebody else,” he said.
Biazon said one such report that his office received came from a woman who got a message that a friend from Australia sent her a package through UBX Cargo on July 9.
After two days, a certain Patti Edwardo, who claimed she was from the Customs Clearance Office, called up with the information that the package was at Cebu Mactan International Airport and asking the woman to pay taxes and duties amounting to P9,000 through a money transfer company.