As Valentine’s Day nears, public cautioned vs love scams | #philippines | #philippinesscams | #lovescams

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STAR/ File

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 7:05 p.m.) —Interior Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. warned the public against love scams as Valentine’s Day approaches.

In a press conference at Malacañang on Tuesday, Abalos said that Valentine’s Day could be used by syndicates to pull off love scams.

“Tinitignan nila (syndicates) through the profile, kung sino ‘yung malungkot, nag-iisa…anong music ‘yung hilig mo,” Abalos said.

(They [syndicates] look through the profile, who’s sad, lonely…what music you like)

“And then ‘yung weakness mo, ‘yon ‘yung pinapasok,” he added.

(And then your weakness, that’s what they exploit.)

Love scam is a kind of scheme which involves feigning romantic intentions toward a victim.

Perpetrators will then use the “goodwill” of the victim and force them to send money under false pretenses. 

Love scam is considered swindling or estafa as scammers use deception for financial benefit, according to Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Benjamin Acorda.

Online swindling is the top cybercrime committed in the Philippines in 2023 with 15,000 incidents lodged before the PNP, according to Acorda.

Since love scam is considered an estafa, offenders could be penalized from six months to six years imprisonment, according to the Revised Penal Code (RPC). 

However, as it is a crime committed on cyberspace, it would also be lodged under Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act, which states that offenses also defined by the RPC will have a one-degree higher penalty.

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