Bureau of Immigration warns public against online scammers
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Friday told the public to be wary of scammers posing as immigration employees on Facebook.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente issued the warning after an Indian student filed a complaint about a supposed 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,” Morente said in a statement.
“She presented herself as a fixer than can process the application of these students,” he added.
According to BI, there were no records of such a person employed in 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.
BI said that current rules authorize only school representatives to process applications on behalf of foreign students in the country.
But the Indian student had a disagreement with her school, leading her to turn to Facebook for help.
“The fake employee offered to process her application but requested pre-payment sent through online fund transfer,” Morente said.
The complaint stated that the victim paid a total of P45,000 in several tranches before the suspect stopped replying to her.
“These are all scams. Immediately report to the authorities if you encounter any such attempts,” Morente said.
Earlier, BI posted a warning against fake immigration officers promising to escort travelers at the airport and fake employees involved in a love scam.
The case of the Indian student will be referred to the National Bureau of Investigation Anti-Cybercrime Group for investigation, Morente said.
– Liezelle Soriano Roy, trainee
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