BOC airs warning vs Internet scams | Inquirer Technology

BOC airs warning vs Internet scams

/ 07:23 AM February 16, 2014

MANILA, Philippines—The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has warned the public against Internet scams in which victims are befriended online and promised  packages containing gifts and money as long as they pay the customs duties and taxes.

In a post on its website, the BOC said at least 12 people had come to their office to complain that they sent money to pay the duties and taxes supposedly assessed by the BOC but never received their gifts.

The BOC said it did not send assessments for duties and taxes through e-mail, nor did it accept payments through bank deposits but required recipients of packages to process their claims at the BOC offices.


Customs officials said the number of people victimized by the scam could be higher since other victims may have decided not to report the incident to the authorities.


The officials said most of the victims were women while most of the scammers supposedly were from Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“Perpetrators usually get in touch with prospective victims online via chat or dating websites,” the BOC said.

After several weeks of constant online communication, the perpetrators would tell their victims through e-mail that they wanted to send them gifts.

Among the gifts promised, according to the victims, were luxury bags, jewelry, laptops and other electronic gadgets through international door-to-door parcel delivery services.

They would later send a tracking number and invoice for the purported shipment.

In a few days, the victims would get an e-mail supposedly from the BOC informing them that the packages would be sent to them after they deposited payment for the duties and taxes in a designated bank account or money transfer service. A detailed breakdown of the duties and taxes is even included.


“After remitting or depositing the money, however, the victims never got their packages,” the BOC said.

The BOC clarified that it did not give assessments and computation of duties and taxes through e-mail. Instead, the BOC gives the recipients an official customs document.

Customs duties and taxes likewise should only be processed at the Bureau of Customs and not through any bank.


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TOPICS: BOC, Bureau of Customs
TAGS: BOC, Bureau of Customs

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