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PIA Press Release
2008/07/28

You just won a million! New scam popping up

by Toting Bunye

Manila (28 July) -- WHAT would you do if you receive a text or email message saying you won a million pesos in a megabuck raffle you did not join? You can do one of two things. Discard the message. Or, better still, report the matter to the Anti-Money Laundering Council. Under no instance should you give out any personal information and fall for this scam as others have found out too late.

Perhaps a downside to global connectivity is that the scammers have been able to export their misdeeds, as several overseas Filipinos have reportedly received these deceitful text/email messages.

Text or email scammers do their dirty work by telling a prospective victim that he has won the jackpot of a raffle sponsored by a certain institution. Among the names of institutions abused in this shenanigan are the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.

The imaginary prize may be cash or a high value item like a brand new car.

The message usually includes the name of a contact person who would claim to be an attorney. When contacted, the phony lawyer would instruct the supposed winner to deposit money in a bank account or to send cash through a remittance company. Often, the con artists would also require a victim to send prepaid load.

The victim is led to believe that the money will be used to pay for certain charges which is the prerequisite for claiming the alleged prize. Once the crooks receive the cash or the prepaid load, that's the last time the victim hears from them.

If you receive such message you may contact the Anti-Money Laundering Council Secretariat (AMLCS), the BSP Corporate Affairs Office, or the BSP Consumer Affairs Group. You may also send e-mails to consumeraffairs@bsp.gov.ph.

Vic Aquino of the Anti-Money Laundering Council reports that in coordination with the NBI and Western Union, the AMLC has already arrested several text scammers in Davao City in joint entrapment operations. The scammers are now facing charges in court. AMLC has also sought the aid of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and other international agencies.

Remember that when you receive a text or email message that is too good to be true, you can be sure of one thing: it is not true! (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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