Customs airs warnings vs ‘sweetheart’ deals
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has warned the public against con artists posing as internet sweethearts and promising packages in exchange for hefty fees purportedly to pay for “taxes and duties.”
“If things are too good to be true, get out, that’s a trap,” cautioned Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña on Saturday.
This was after the agency received a complaint from a Pangasinan resident, who claimed to have been victimized by her online friend who promised her a package of signature bags and gadgets.
The victim was tricked into paying P30,000 to a certain Jenalyn Miranda for the release of the package, which was allegedly being held by the BOC.
But after the amount was paid via money transfer, the suspect asked for another P80,000 supposedly to facilitate the release of the package.
Data from the BOC showed that the agency had received 1,263 reports and inquiries on similar online scams.
Such scams are common on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, online dating sites, and even e-mail and text messaging.
Con artists befriend their victims and promise to send packages containing gifts and money, even sending bogus receipts and tracking numbers to support the ruse.