Authorities arrested two Nigerian nationals who allegedly extorted close to half a million pesos from their Filipina love matches online, authorities said, as they warned the public against such trickery.
The foreigners, Felix Aondowase and Emmanuel Abia, allegedly asked their victim to send them private photos, which were later used to blackmail her into sending $8,000 (about P400,000).
"Hindi karupukan at kahangalan ang umibig dahil papasok at papasok ito sa puso nating lahat. Ang kailangan lamang ay ang ibayong pag-iingat, lalo na kung malaking pera na ang pinag-uusapan, upang hindi ito mauwi sa lokohan at matinding iyakan," said Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, the Philippine National Police chief.
Some red flags to consider, according to authorities—they ask for money, even if you've just met, they ask for too much personal information too early and they want sensitive photos and video.
Here are some tips from the Anti-Cybercrime Group on how to avoid falling prey to internet love scams:
- Be careful when befriending strangers online
- Do not respond hastily to any requests of money, even if they sound desperate or troubled
- Do not send money to people you do not know well, especially if you have not met in person
- Do not reveal too much about yourself, particularly in the form of photos or videos, to prevent blackmail