One of the things we could learn in life, there is truth in what they say there will always be 2 types of people in this world – the “manloloko” and the “niloloko”. To this day, online scams in the Philippines run rampant equipped with scammers attempting multiple ways to manipulate people for their hard-earned cash. The Filipino online community is continuously at risk of falling victim of email schemes, fraud transaction online, investment scams, etc. Navigating the virtual space in the Philippines demands heightened awareness and also reinforces the need for caution to ensure the safety and security of individuals. As the saying goes, “walang manloloko kung walang magpapaloko”. This only proves being fooled can be prevented! Agree?
## Types of Online Scams Speaking of panloloko, some of the most popular schemes these days are online. These scams are operated by those who pretend to legitimate, but actually are so called online scammers. They use fake ads on an authentic e-commerce platform, social media sites, or even fake websites that mimic ones from brands we know and trust. In case you’re wondering what these online scams look like, or if you have encountered them before but you were not aware, here are 12 online scams you need to be careful of!
### Online Shopping Scam The surge of online shopping is bound to have a few drawbacks. As consumers eagerly embrace the convenience of virtual stores, it also paved the way for the rise of shopping scams. Customers are being tricked by paying for a non-existent product only to find out, no item will be delivered, and the money has been taken away. This is the “catch” here! Online scammers are a little more clever at deceiving people with their fake pitch to make it look like they are selling a genuine product. In return, when faced with online shopping scams, expect to receive a fake product or one that is different from what you ordered.
### SIM Swap Scam This is also known as “palit SIM” scam. SIM swapping is a new form of online fraud in the country. Here, scammers pretend to be either as a legitimate mobile subscriber or an authorized representative of a mobile subscriber. They will request for SIM card replacement to telecommunication provider of the mobile number then they will use this to access your personal information including bank account and credit card details. Another strategy of scammers attempting this online banking scam is to pretend to be one of the telco agents and they will offer an “upgrade” to your SIM card to improve their network connection and have access to it. When they already have their needed information, they will reset your online banking user ID and password and use it to transfer money from your bank account to anonymous digital wallets.
### ATM/Card Skimming This is also called card skimming or data skimming. This ATM skimming involves copying your personal information on your bank account from the magnetic stripe on the back of your ATM or credit card. Scammers use illegal skimming devices to read the information on your card’s magnetic stripe and steal it resulting in them making a fake or cloned card to access your bank account and complete banking transactions like cash withdrawals and bank transfers. While this card skimming is also a way of scammers to steal your identity or pretends to be you with your details. They will use it to commit identity fraud so they can borrow money or take out loans under your name without you knowing it.
### Phishing or Email Phishing (Online Banking Scam) Do you remember receiving an email from your bank asking you to confirm your account information by clicking on a link provided? This is one exact sample of email phishing. Scammers will trick you and let you fill out a form with your email and password, credit card details, and other personal details via a fake website that looks exactly like a legitimate online banking facility. Scammers can perform unauthorized transactions using your information using this phishing scam.
### SMSishing This is somehow similar to email phishing. Scammers will send you an SMS and let you click or download a malicious link that would require you to provide your personal information.
### Fake Online Lending Companies During these times, there are a wide variety of online investments you can see all over the internet. They can usually be seen on Facebook enticing people to invest in money lending or financing businesses that turns out to be fake. Scammers will trick you into lending your money to a micro-financing or lending company that claims to earn profits as high as 12% weekly or 48% monthly. It sounds too good to be true because it is.
### Lottery Scam This one might not be new to you because most of us have experienced this. Scammers will send you an email, letter or text message saying you have won a lot of money or fantastic prizes in a lottery or competition you are not aware in the first place.
### Email/SMS Spoofing Scammers create email messages with a forged sender address. They usually disguise as legitimate banks, newspapers, company, and the like. Spoofing contains fake offers, asking for a person’s password, OTP, and other personal information.
### Money Mule Scams A money mule does transfers illegally acquired money. Scammers recruit mules to move money electronically bank accounts, to move physical currency, or assist the movement of money through a variety of other methods. To avoid this, watch out for suspicious signs such as receiving emails, messages from social media accounts, or others from unknown individuals; being asked by someone you met online to receive money in your bank, withdraw funds, and give it to another person; getting job offers from companies asking you to use your personal bank account to process or transfer company funds.
### Identity Theft This refers to someone using your identity to gain a financial advantage or obtain credit and other benefits in your name. When your information is stolen, it could have a great impact on your finances such as paying bills, performing fraudulent online transactions, and transferring money out of your bank accounts. You can avoid any of these scams by not falling to any of these scammers’ strategies. Always check the legitimacy of any communication you are receiving and making sure it comes from someone you know or an authentic source, as they always say – “lamang ang may alam”.
### Romance Scams Usually, romance scams play on your emotional triggers to manipulate you into getting what they want (usually money!). So, the trick is to be vigilant. These people usually use fake online profiles or hide in legitimate online dating apps. Some tactics for these scammers involve giving a lot of effort to gain your trust which can likely lead to months of talking. Once you encounter a scammer, they will literally aim to build a romance story in hopes to let your guard down. After this is accomplished, they will subtly ask you for money or other things they need claiming that they are undergoing some financial difficulty, claims to have fallen ill, or are involved in a serious accident. Don’t fall for it!
#### How to protect yourself from online romance scams: - DO NOT give credit card numbers or online account details. - BE CAREFUL about sharing too much personal information. - AVOID agreements with people you meet online especially if it’s involving money. - ALWAYS CONSIDER if who you’re talking to online is safe. - DO a double take. Be discerning!
### Investment Scams Take investment scams like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, targeting people who are eager for financial success. But don’t be fooled by the fancy marketing, or the so-called fake success stories they tell you. Once they you bite the bait, and funds are deposited, poof! Scammers vanish leaving you with big financial problems. So be alert, especially if you’re someone who’s looking for investments online. Do your research and look for legitimate ones. Scammers usually utilize social media for their tricks. So, stay sharp! Don’t let the sweet talkers get advantage of your hard-earned cash. Here are some common investment scams online: - Fake online lending companies - Bitcoin scams - Paid-to-click programs - Offshore stock trading scam
###Feel safe with Home Credit! Home Credit aims to ensure that its client won’t be a victim to any of these online scams by providing reminders and notifications from time to time. Make sure to read those to prevent yourself from getting scammed. To stay updated real-time, download the [Home Credit App]( on the Google Play store.