Bicol cyber cops target love scams

LEGAZPI CITY (PIA) — Anti-cybercrime police in Bicol are hoping to save women from heartbreak — as well as a broken bank account.

March is Women’s Month and this year, the Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Cybercrime Unit in Region 5 (ACU-5) appeared at the Ugnayan sa PIA Albay to raise awareness about a crime that affects women — love scams.

“As we honor the women for their achievements, we also take the opportunity to provide cyber safety awareness to women,” Police Lieutenant Carl Michael Camba, chief of operations of ACU-5, said.

According to Camba, love scams, often called “pig butchering scams” in China because the scam involves manipulating the victims emotionally before eventually deceiving them financially, are particularly damaging because they not only cause financial loss but also emotional trauma.

“Love scams typically begin on social media sites, with the scammer gaining the victim’s trust through displays of affection,” he said.

Scammers who trick people into falling in love with them have specific plans for how they will target women, he added.

Camba said women who are dating online should be aware of these red flags:

“If someone they are interested in refuses to open his videos or always has an excuse for why his videos aren’t working, it is likely a scam.”

Additionally, if someone they meet online asks for money, “it is important to remember that real love does not require financial support, and it is most likely a scam.”

Camba advises women to take the following precautions to avoid getting scammed:

– Never send money to someone you metonline and consider your boyfriend.

– Avoid sharing your personal information on social media sites.

– If you have already become a victim of this scam, seek advice from your friends or family.

In 2022, three women from Bicol were defrauded. The following year, another woman was scammed. This year, the 5th woman fell prey to the love scam.

Those who want to consult the ACU-5 may call 0998-598-8104, email [email protected] or visit its office inside Camp Simeon Ola in Legazpi City or simply scan the QR code below:

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