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Anti-scam Christmas campaign launched to protect Filipinos from cyber fraud | #philippines | #philippinesscams | #lovescams | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | | #dating | #hacking | #aihp

To promote vigilance against scams this holiday season, Scam Watch Pilipinas and the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC), an attached agency of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), launched the “Holiday Watch PH” campaign on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at the National Cybercrime Hub.

Photo credit to Scam Watch Pilipinas

The campaign responds to the Philippines’ highest shopping scam rate among 11 Asian countries, according to a CICC report.


During the event, CICC Executive Director Undersecretary Alexander Ramos stressed the need to educate the public about prevalent scams during Christmas shopping, which is a significant concern.

Meanwhile, Scam Watch Co-Lead Convenor Jocel De Guzman emphasized that this education campaign aims to introduce digital literacy and cyber hygiene to empower them to make informed decisions when shopping, donating, or engaging in online activities.

Photo credit Scam Watch Pilipinas

“Filipinos spend a lot, and we celebrate Christmas early, and we spend our money on shopping in the game store for friends and relatives,” he said.

“This is why we are launching this campaign to help the public be vigilant against scams,” he added.


’12 scams of Christmas’

Throughout the event, De Guzman discussed the “12 scams of Christmas” that are prevalent during the holiday season.

Photo credit to Scam Watch Pilipinas

One common scam to be aware of is the fake shipping or delivery notification. He emphasized that scammers may send emails or SMS messages that appear to be from legitimate shipping companies, asking for personal information such as addresses and phone numbers.

“It’s important to be cautious and not provide any personal information unless you are certain the message is legitimate,” he said.

Next is the fake online charity scam; he explained that scammers may fabricate charities, in which they often use names similar to legitimate organizations to solicit donations via message or email.

In addition, De Guzman mentioned that the third one is fake shopping websites.

He then advised being cautious of fraudulent e-commerce sites by scrutinizing the website’s URL and avoiding clicking suspicious links.

“So you have to check the URL or use the app itself. Don’t click the link, so usually any form of phishing,” he added.

The number four is fake online sellers — where he emphasized that when dealing with unknown sellers, the public should “avoid paying in advance to unfamiliar sellers,” particularly on platforms like Facebook Marketplace.

Moreover, the campaign underscored the risk of falling to free trial scams, fake Christmas gift card schemes, tech support scams, and investment schemes.

De Guzman stressed that it is safer to go to legitimate banks and companies for loans rather than trusting someone who offers to bring you money but “asks for a processing fee.”

He also urged citizens to be cautious of cryptocurrency and foreign exchange investment scams by emphasizing the targets are individuals and promising them high returns.

Furthermore, the campaign shed light on dating scams, where individuals may be targeted on dating apps with requests for money and loan scams that victims with promises of quick cash.

In this case, he recommended that it is better to call them to verify if they are indeed your relative and friend.


Global pandemic

In an interview, Ramos noted that all countries are experiencing scams, however, the country’s main problem is online shopping scams.

“I would say that compared to other countries, we are still apart from being alarming because this is a global pandemic,” he said.

“And all countries are searching for solutions, and we are not late in finding a solution,” he added.

On the other hand, De Guzman pointed out that to protect yourself, the public should report cyber fraud incidents to the Inter-Agency Response Center (I-ARC) through the hotline 1326.

Holiday watch PH 3.jpg
Photo credit to Scam Watch Pilipinas

In addition, he urged the public to utilize the four #ScamWatchPH released attitudes: Magdamot (be stingy), magduda (be suspicious), mang-snob (be a snob), and magsumbong (report).

Holiday watch PH 4.jpg
Photo credit to Scam Watch Pilipinas

In collaboration with the CICC, the DICT, the National Privacy Commission (NPC), and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) with the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) and the National Bureau of Investigation Cybercrime Division signed the cybersecurity movement as the government’s national citizen arm to educate Filipinos with crucial knowledge to defend themselves against online scams.

It is also a cybersecurity movement, which Manila Bulletin and reputation management brand Truth360 co-founded.

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