Romance scams ‘on the rise’ in Central Visayas

MORE and more people are falling prey to romance scams, said the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI 7).

During the open line forum organized by news outlet MyTV and its private partners on Tuesday, September 27, 2022, Maria Contessa "Coco" Lastimosa, a special investigator of the NBI 7, said they noticed increasing reports of people victimized by several scams, particularly romance scams.

In September alone, five romance scams were reported to the NBI, she said, while four were reported in August.

Lastimosa said the scammer’s usual modus is to pretend to be a US military serviceman. He then establishes an online relationship with the victim before arranging a meeting.

Lastimosa said the scammer then asks the victim to send money so he can purchase a ticket but then he never shows up for the meeting.

She said another modus is for the scammer to pretend to send a package. He then tells the victim that the package is intercepted by the Bureau of Customs because it contains diamonds and a large sum of money, among others. The scammer then asks the victim for a certain amount for the package’s release. Once the victim sends the money, no package arrives, Lastimosa said. (HIC)