Public warned on online scam | Inquirer News

Public warned on online scam

By: - Correspondent / @cebudailynews
/ 11:03 AM July 27, 2011

An online scam that uses the Bureau of Customs (BOC) as a ruse has victimized at least one Cebuana and four others around the country, Customs officials said yesterday.

In a press conference, Cebu Customs collector Ronnie Silvestre said the scam is usually coursed through an online dating site. He said the perpetrators, who claim to be foreigners, inform their chat mates to receive a package they sent through Customs.

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The sender tells the chat mate to pay tariff duties and taxes through a bank account he or she will indicate in an e-mail message. The victim will send the money, only to be told by Customs that no packages were sent to them.

“Most of the victims are females,” Silvestre said. He said his office coordinated with the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI-7) to   locate and arrest the perpetrators.

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NBI-7 Director Edward Villarta said the Cebuana victim is a resident of Lapu-Lapu City.

The others are from Bacoor, Cavite; Makati City La Union province and Dipolog City.

Capt. George Macarubbo, sector commander of Security Service, Customs Police Division, said the Lapu-Lapu resident paid P15,000 for a package that was never sent.

The senders usually claim to be based in the US, Britain or Australia. Villarata said they were trying to secure the bank accounts but were turned down by the banks due to their bank secrecy policy.

Silvestre said payment of Customs duties and taxes should be made at their office and not to a bank account listed under a fictitious name.

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TAGS: Crime, Internet, online scam
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