Beware of online “love scams,” public told

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FILIPINOS are known to be one of the most romantic in the world, expressing their love for another in the most unique and expressive ways.

However, the Philippine National Police (PNP) warned the public against falling for the supposed “love scam” perpetrated by certain individuals using various social media platforms.

The warning was issued by PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar cautioned following the arrest of two Nigerians who were allegedly involved in this kind of activity. Suspects Felix Aondowase and Emmanuel Abia were accused of extorting thousands of money from a certain businesswoman.

They allegedly pretended to be an Australian so they could lure the woman. It reached the point wherein the suspects made the victim send some private photos, which they later used to blackmail her into sending US$8,000 to their Filipino contacts in Cavite.

The PNP chief warned the public to be extra vigilant and careful on whom they are talking to in various social media sites.

This is not the first time that we encountered and arrested Nigerians using this modus that is why I already ordered our Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to help each other to bust this syndicate. We will not let these foreigners toy with genuine love offered by our kababayan,” said PGen Eleazar.

“’Love scammers’ lurk in various social media platforms so I would advise our kababayan to be cautious of persons they connect with online. The anonymity offered by the internet makes it a playground for scammers particularly at this time of pandemic when most of us are spending longer hours online,” he added.

The alleged Filipino cohorts of the Nigerians were also nabbed by authorities during an entrapment operation. The foreign suspects, meanwhile, denied the accusations against them.

PGen Eleazar urged the public who were victimized by this kind of activity to report the incident to authorities.

There’s nothing wrong from seeking love and falling in love. We just need to be very careful, especially when huge amounts of money is involved, so it won’t lead to being fooled and eventually heartbreak,” said PGen Eleazar.

He likewise urged the public to seek police assistance because the police will arrest these scammers and hold them responsible for their criminal activities.

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