Online scammers steal P1 billion from Filipinos annually

By: Luisa Cabato - | December 06,2023 - 10:38 PM

online scam

Securities and exchange Commission warns public against online scammers who offer fake investments. (File image from REUTERS)

Every year, Filipinos suffer losses of approximately one billion pesos to online scammers.

This amount was given by Department of Information and Communications Technology – Cybercrime Investigation Coordinating Center (DICT-CICC) Executive Director Alexander Ramos on Wednesday.

READ: Tips from DICT-7: How to protect yourself from online scams

“In the Philippines po, approximately P1 billion ang nawawala po sa ating mga netizens every year,”  Ramos said at Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum. (In the Philippines, approximately P1 billion is lost to our netizens every year.)

“Ganun po kalaki ang pera sa scam, kaya marami rin po ang na-e-encourage sa scam,” he noted. (The money in the scams is that big, that is why so many people are encouraged to engage in scams.)

He also aired his observations on the increased number of Filipinos engaging in fraudulent activities.

READ: Philippines has highest shopping scam rate among 11 Asian countries

“Ang nakikita natin sa field, previously po ‘yung gumagawa po ng scam sa atin dito ay foreigners,” he recalled. (What we see in the field is that previously, the ones who perpetrated the scams were foreigners.)

“Ngayon po, we have this trend na ‘yung knowledge ng scam, napa-pass-on na sa mga Pilipino,” he noticed. (Now, we have this trend where the knowledge of scams has been passed on to Filipinos.)

Worldwide, Ramos said P332 trillion was lost in internet fraud in 2021.

This number is expected to rise to P608 trillion by 2025, he pointed out.

READ: PART 1: What are overpayment scams and how do scammers prey on small tourism players?’

Meanwhile, Ramos emphasized the younger population should be encouraged to learn about cyber safety and security.

“Sa bawat bahay po natin, may mga youngsters po tayo dyan na mas marunong sa computers at internet. Minsan, nahihiya lang po tayo magtanong sa kanila,” he said. (In each of our homes, we have youngsters who know more about computers and internet. Sometimes, we are just shy to ask them.)

“They’re more knowledgeable than us. We utilize them [against scams],” he suggested.

For his part, Scam Watch Pilipinas Co-Founder Jocel de Guzman reminded the public against the so-called ’12 scams of Christmas.’

READ: P155 M lost to over 8,000 online scams from January – August 2023

These schemes include fake shipping or delivery notifications, fake online charity, fake shopping website, fake online sellers, fake free product or service trials, fake gift certificates, fake technical support, fake crypto currency investment, fake relative scams, dating scams, foreign exchange scams, and love scams.

De Guzman noted these instances of online manipulations are expected to rise during the holiday season.

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TAGS: Department of Information and Communications Technology in Central Visayas (DICT-7), online scam, online scammers

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