THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has warned overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families from falling prey to a new “online” scam enticing migrant workers to avail of loans supposedly being offered by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz on Thursday disclosed that the scammers were using the OWWA name and logo to convince their potential victims that the loans they are offering are legitimate.
“OWWA is not offering such loans. Be wary about this scam that asks OFWs to pay a certain amount in exchange for availment of a loan from the OWWA,” Baldoz said after she was alerted about the online scam by OWWA Administrator Rebecca Calzado.
According to the Labor chief, the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) in Hong Kong and Macau have been receiving a lot of inquiries from unsuspecting OFWs on how they could avail of the supposed loans.
According to POLO offices, applicants were reportedly told to deposit 1,000 Hong Kong dollars for the release of their loans.
OWWA has posted a warning in its official Facebook account and at www.owwa.gov.ph, its official website.
Calzado said they have reported the “fake” OWWA account to Facebook management as added protection to Filipino workers even as she reminded them and the public to be vigilant of swindlers out to dupe them of 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,” she added.
Meanwhile, Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, chairman, Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant Peoples of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, called on OFWs and their families to save for their future and spend only on what is necessary.
He made the call after the peso-dollar exchange rate rose to P47 against the US 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 said.