I note that Visayas and Mindanao areas in the Philippines seem to be inundated by unscrupulous Koreans who do illegal activities ( human trafficking and now, swindling). Koreans have been indicted and convicted of trafficking women from Cagayan and bringing them to Cebu to work as prostitutes.
The Christmas season is upon us. It appears that bad elements are raising funds for their holiday celebrations. My relative just got victimized by a group if swindlers/ con artists operating in Cagayan de Oro City in Mindanao.
Let’s call her AA. She was just eating lunch at a fast food chain in an Ayala mall when a middle-aged woman approached her and introduced herself as a fellow wife of a seafarer. AA was in town visiting her husband, a seafarer whose international vessel was currently docked nearby. AA got comfortable with the woman, when a Korean approached, purportedly asking for help after being victimized by some business person. A series of events happened ending in AA getting into an Innova car with these swindlers.
AA was too trusting and felt that she wanted to be a good Samaritan and help out this poor Korean girl, who ended up to be in cahoots with the Filipina woman. AA was duped into handing over her jewelry and Php 50,000 in cash, which she withdrew from the atm, at the urging of these swindlers. They asked to demo how to do bank transactions for the poor Korean. To make AA feel at ease, the swindlers put in her cash and jewelry in a bag purportedly containing these swindlers’ cash and jewelry as well. A switch was made and AA ended up with an empty bag.
The key ways the swindlers made AA feel at ease: a) giving a business proposal to supply AA some chemical to her for 18,000 per bottle (the chemical purportedly sells at php20,000 per bottle); b) getting AA’ sympathy by pretending to be part of a seafarer household; ;c) showing AA gold jewelry and lots of cash. These swindlers appear to have tailed AA because they knew her background and business as a supplier. They preyed on AA’s kindness and generally, Filipinos’ colonial mentality of feeling that foreigners are trustworthy and superior to them.
As AA reported to the police, she found out that she wasn’t the first victim. A previous victim was a retired person who was induced to withdraw her Php 900,000 retirement funds from her bank. It seems that these swindlers target elderly people. Please warn your loved ones.
While AA lost php 120,000 in jewelry and cash, we are just glad she got out of those swindlers’ vehicle unharmed. Money comes and goes, but life is irreplaceable.
20 something lawyer