THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) warned overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families not to be lured by a new “online” scam enticing migrant workers to avail of a loan allegedly offered by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz disclosed on Thursday that the scammers were using the OWWA’s name and logo to convince their potential victims that it is a legitimate undertaking of the government agency.
“OWWA is not offering such loan(s). Be wary about this scam that asks OFWs to pay a certain amount in exchange of an availment of loan from the OWWA,” Baldoz said after OWWA administrator Rebecca Calzado alerted her about the online scam.
According to Baldoz, Macau and Hongkong’s Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) have already been receiving a lot of inquiries from unsuspecting OFWs on how to avail of the loan.
As per report by the POLO offices, applicants were reportedly asked to deposit 1,000 Hong Kong dollars for the release of their loans.
The OWWA has already posted warnings on its website www.owwa.gov.ph including the agency’s official Facebook account.
Calzado said they have also reported the “fake” OWWA account to Facebook management for added protection to Filipino workers.
She also reminded the public to be vigilant of swindlers out to dupe them with their hard-earned money.
“I urge you not to give any information, especially if financial in nature, to unidentified persons. Transact only with OWWA offices to prevent being victimized by scams,” Calzado said.
Meanwhile, Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, chairman, CBCP Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, called on OFWs and their families to save for their future and spend only on what is necessary.
The prelate made the call after the peso-dollar exchange rate rose to P47 against a dollar.
“Don’t spend too much because you have a lot money as a result of a higher exchange rate. Take care of your hard-earned money, be circumspect, save for your future,” Santos added.