At least 12 persons have been victimized by an Internet scam promising packages with gifts or money in exchange for the payment of supposedly customs duties and taxes, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said in its latest advisory posted on their website.
Most of the victims were said to be women, while most of the scammers or email senders were supposedly to have come from the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.
BOC said these figures don’t include yet those victims who didn’t report to authorities as well as those victims living in the provinces.
The agency likewise said the public should be wary of such scams befriending victims online through chat or dating websites. The scammers would constantly communicate online with their victims for several weeks or months, after which the former would promise to send gifts such as luxury bags, jewelry, laptop computers, and other electronic gadgets by international door-to-door parcel.
The scammers would later send a tracking number and invoice for the alleged shipment. Days after, the victims would receive an email allegedly coming from the BOC, notifying them of the packages to be sent after they pay the required duties and taxes.
Said duties and taxes—even identified in a breakdown—would be paid by depositing in a designated bank account or by money transfer service. But after the deposit or remittance, the victims would never receive any package.
The BOC advised the public to be more vigilant and that it doesn’t give assessments and computations of duties and taxes via email. Instead, these fees are computed and written on an official BOC document, and payable only at the BOC office, not through any bank.
When in doubt, the agency advised the public to contact them through any of these channels:
For more formation, visit www.customs.gov.ph.