There are many scammers lurking around, but Overseas Filipino Workers have become hot targets because of the general conception that they have more to spend. The very reason most OFWs leave is because of better-paying jobs elsewhere. Thus, the general belief that they definitely bring home the bacon.
If you’re an OFW, these are the Top 5 scams you need to watch out for:
1.) Multi-level Marketing Recruiters
These recruiters are downright aggressive. They know exactly what words to say and what approach to take to persuade you to work with them. Their conversational tone and “proof” to support their claim to easy money makes it hard to resist them right away. They know just what to do to earn your trust, and say exactly what you need to hear to convince you that you can “earn a lot almost instantly” and “help your family”.
2.) Small-time Investment Opportunities
If you have the resources to make an investment but not enough for a large one, it is best to avoid small-time investment opportunities, especially those that haven’t been tried and tested by people you know — even more so for those that are in no way associated with banks or major companies. If you’re looking to invest, best do your research on an investment that you prefer and save for that one instead. This way, you can double check the necessary security measures and receive proper guarantees for your hard-earned money.
3.) Lottery Scams
While this is becoming more and more common, it seems that the approaches that these scammers have taken to convince their victims have taken a new turn. It usually begins with a persistent congratulatory message, manipulating you into thinking that it was not a mass-messaged template. Afterward, the sender will ask for a processing fee to help ease you with the transaction. Do not be enticed, no matter how they try to persuade you with your dream house and a perfect retirement plan. Money up front is hardly ever a good sign.
4.) Business Franchising Opportunities
In this case, it is more understandable if a stranger asks you for immediate payment since it will seemingly be a chance for a good investment. However, don’t be so easily deceived. After introducing a business proposal complete with marketing strategies and financial plans, they will ask for small amounts from several people or a group of friends and wind up with a sum that may be small for the individual investors, but enough for the scammers.
5.) Loan Scams
Loan scams have become prevalent, preying on the OFW community as easy targets. Using the names of trusted agencies like the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, which is “verifiable” through fraudulent social media accounts to answer queries, the scammer will offer a loan from the agency. According to them, they only require a few thousand pesos to release the full amount of the loan.
Scammers never run out of creative ways to swindle you, and while many techniques show similar patterns, always be vigilant and transact only with those you trust. Just remember – the moment a stranger asks for money up front, no matter how small the amount may be, always think twice. Scammers who claim less often get away with it because victims tend to forgo filing a case for the loss of a small amount.