As Philippines reopens borders, Immigration renews warning vs online love scams | #philippines | #philippinesscams | #lovescams

MANILA, Philippines — As the country reopens its borders to foreign nationals, the Bureau of Immigration warned the public not to fall victim to online “love scams.”

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente reiterated the bureau’s warning against a syndicate that targets Filipinos seeking biracial relationships. “With the re-opening of our borders to foreign tourists comes the return of the love scam,” he added.

The BI chief said the syndicate usually meets victims online and they will promise them international travels and small gifts, and then would say they are coming to the Philippines for marriage.

But upon arrival to the country, the scammer would claim he is being held by immigration authorities or other government agencies. Morente added: “The scammer then will dupe his victim in depositing large sums of money in exchange for his freedom.”

The government on February 10 allowed foreigners from visa-free countries to enter the country for business and leisure purposes, after nearly two years of borders closure due to the pandemic.


The bureau said one victim requested about his partner who was allegedly being held at the Davao International airport. The victim showed screenshots of messages supposedly from Morente who was demanding payment in exchange for the release of the person.

The scammer also told the victim he was held at immigration counters for holding large sums of money in his hand-carry bag.

But Morente said that no foreign national has arrived in Davao

He also explained: “It is not within our jurisdiction to check bags of arriving passengers.  We are concerned with the person and their documents, and not his luggage.”

The Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. also reminded the public “to be cautious and verify identities of people while engaging them through online platforms.”

“[K]ababayans must be war when giving financial and personal information, especially when they are not in a position to vet the identity of the other party,” the embassy added.  — Kristine Joy Patag

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