MANILA, Philippines—Beware of con artists posing as your relatives on Facebook.
A Quezon City Police District (QCPD) official issued this warning Tuesday after a couple complained that they lost more than P200,000 to someone who posed as their aunt and offered to help them land jobs in Canada.
McRyan Jay Cortez, a supervisor of a construction firm and his wife, Madelene, claimed that they only learned that they had been duped after they contacted their aunt who told them that she had been unable to access her Facebook account for quite some time.
“This is a case of a cybercrime perpetrated using social networking sites,” QCPD theft and robbery section chief SPO4 Alan de la Cruz told the Inquirer.
According to the couple, the con artist apparently hacked the Facebook account of Madelene’s aunt and posed as her. The “aunt” sent them messages, claiming she could help them find work overseas, particularly in Canada. She then gave them the name of a woman whom they should contact if they were interested.
The couple said that when they called the contact person, she told them to deposit P80,000 as payment for their application and visas into her account at a bank in Fairview, Quezon City, on Jan. 4.
Later on, they were asked to send P130,000 through courier service to the address of another woman who was supposedly working with their first contact.
After depositing the money, the couple were instructed by the contact person to meet her at a condominium in Mandaluyong City for their interview at the Canadian Embassy.
The couple said they followed the woman’s order but she never showed up even though they waited for four hours.
The couple then checked if the money they had deposited into the contact person’s bank account was still there but they were told that someone had already withdrawn the amount.