How fraudsters trick migrant workers
Legitimate official receipts of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) come in a set of three—the payor’s copy (white), the comptrollership office’s copy (green) and the cashier’s copy (pink), with a unique control number.
In the scheme that was first detected in September 2015, crooked liaison officers provide the unsuspecting overseas Filipino worker with the supposed original receipt or its photocopy.
But this receipt carries a control number that has already been issued, as early as a week prior, to another PhilHealth member.
“Eli,” who has monitored cases of fake PhilHealth receipts over the years, said it was “rare” for fraudsters to make up a control number. The fake receipts are also determined to be so because these fail the ultraviolet light and tactile tests.
According to Eli’s findings, these areas have reported fraud: the provinces of Pangasinan, La Union, Cagayan, Rizal, Pampanga and Iloilo; Cebu City; Gapan, Nueva Ecija; Tanauan, Batangas; Trece Martires, Cavite; and Valencia City, Bukidnon.
The areas where the control numbers used to issue fake receipts were traced back to are: the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration’s Overseas Filipino Program Operations Office, Baguio City, Kalinga, Cebu City, Danao City, Mandaue, Zamboanga City, General Santos City, Kidapawan; Calapan, Mindoro Oriental; Kalibo, Aklan; and the PhilHealth Regional Office in Northern Mindanao.
Eli said it was possible that crooked PhilHealth employees were behind the scheme, especially because there were reports last month that some of the fake receipts detected carried control numbers that were to be issued by the regional office in Soccsksargen.
Soccsksargen accounts for around 3,000 of the 8,925 cases filed by PhilHealth against hospitals and health professionals for various violations, including upcasing.
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