There are so many scams in Manila, it can be quite hard to keep up with all of them. However, by reading about other people’s experiences with scams, it is possible to keep yourself safe from them. Just make sure you know what to look out for, always have a calm and clear mind (even when under stress and panic), and read up on these scams that people share online every so often. They might be lengthy, but they will ensure that you are aware of the scams that exist and can spot them and avoid them at all costs.
April Vargas shared one particular scam on her Facebook account recently – one that we had heard about several times before. It turns out this scam still exists. Read on.
Apparently, this scheme is still in circulation and many are still falling victim to it. I’m going to share my own experience to raise awareness.
I was alone at home with my brother one afternoon, when the telephone rang. It was a lady with a very calm tone. There were sounds of typewriters and printers on the background, seemed like an office.
Lady: “Hello, ito ba yung bahay ni Mrs. Merita?”
Me: Opo, sino po sila?
L: Sa police station ito. Ikaw ba yung anak niya? (I was starting to get anxious because she was talking really slowly.)
M: Yes po nasa office po siya ngayon eh.
L: Yun na nga iha eh. Papunta kasi siya ng meeting niya. (I checked and it was a Wednesday. My mother usually goes out for meetings on a Wednesday. So yes, the pieces seemed to fit.) Wag ka mabibigla ha. Nakabangga kasi sila at mukhang napuruhan yung anak nung Chinese. Magdedemanda kasi sila eh. Nakipag-areglo yung mother mo at sasagutin nalang daw niya yung expenses sa hospital. Kaso kulang yung pera niya. Nandito yung lawyer niya kausapin mo. (I was already on the verge of crying.)
“Lawyer”: Iha, didirechuhin na kita. Mukhang desidido magdemanda yung nakabanggaan ng mother mo. Ginagawa ko naman yung kaya ko at pumayag naman yung Chinese na magbabayad nalang. Pero hanggang ngayong araw lang. Kapag walang binigay yung mother mo, pasensya nalang. Ito siya kausapin mo. Medyo malala yung pakakabangga kaya hirap siya magsalita. Pumutok yung nguso niya. (I was surprised that it was not her close friend. She would have gotten him if she ever needed one. And I was furious that they did not take her to a hospital first.)
“Mom”: *in a muffled and crying voice* Anak, ayaw ko makulong. Kunin mo yung pera ko diyan please ihatid mo dito. Dalhin mo narin yun mga alahas para sigurado. Nandiyan sa…”
She continued to give very specific instructions that were far too accurate and applicable to my current situation. I was already crying by this time. I gathered all the money and jewelry. I returned to the call and the first girl who I spoke to was on the line.
L: O iha nasunod mo na ba yung pinapagawa ni attorney at ng mama mo?
M: Opo nasan po ba kayo?
L: Iha kumalma ka muna. Hindi kita marinig nang maayos. May katabi ka bang cellphone? Patayin mo muna pati yung radyo o kaya TV pati narin yung Wi-Fi. Baka maputol yung call eh naku alam mo na mangyayari sa mama mo. Ibigay mo na rin sakin ang cellphone number mo just in case.
M: *I was already swept by my emotions, so I followed her orders*
L: O tapos na ba? Siguraduhin mo ha.
She kept repeating this, so I became suspicious. I turned my mobile phone back on. An unknown number was calling and the lady asked once again if I already switched off everything she asked me to. Finally, something must have knocked sense into me. I ended the call and called my mom on my mobile phone. The telephone kept ringing and I left it at that. Thank God my mom was actually okay, but I still couldn’t stop shaking. Then, someone knocked on our door, someone I didn’t know, and she was calling out my name. There were three people. I ignored it until they finally walked away.
I couldn’t help but cry after what happened. I felt so stupid, but it served as a lesson. It was already the second time something like this happened to me. The first one was when a knife was pointed at my tummy and the man asked for my phone. I gave it and he fortunately did me no more harm. Anyway, I hope this serves as a reminder for everyone. Let us all stay safe and include these monsters in our prayers.
Sometimes, it does more damage to be overprotective with your kids because they will be more vulnerable to the “real” world. That was my case, so I knew little outside of home and school. I always questioned why don’t people just fight back. I always said that if it was me, I would just punch a snatcher or kick him or whatever. Then these things happened, and I could just bawl my eyes out. Let us help spread awareness and make everybody safe.
We hope you can share this article and help spread awareness, especially to the household help.