Beware of online gift-giving scam, says Customs
by FFE PH News Site
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has issued a warning about a new scam that involves dating sites and online chats.
In this new modus operandi, scammers promise to send a package containing gifts like luxury bags, jewelry and gadgets through international parcel delivery services. The victims then receive a bogus tracking number and proof of purchase from the scammer and a fake email from BOC asking for money for duties and taxes on the package. The victims are then forced to pay the taxes via money transfer or a bank account before they can claim the non-existent package.
The scammers, which are mostly from Australia, Britain or America, connect with their victims through dating sites or online chat. Most of the victims had been women.
BOC clarified in a statement issued on 14 February 2014 that they do not issue computation of duties and taxes via email and that they only give computations through official documents. Duties and taxes are also only to be paid to the BOC and not in any bank or money transfer service.
So far, there are 12 reported cases with the BOC. However, the bureau believes there are more victims who have yet to report their case to authorities.