Customs warns public vs packages coursed online

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Friday, February 14, 2014

THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Friday warned the public against internet scams where victims are befriended online and then promised packages containing gifts and even money that they will be sent and received in exchange for payment of supposedly customs duties and taxes.

The BOC said that at least 12 persons who were victimized by the scam reported to its office in Manila and this does not include victims who did not personally report to authorities and those residing in the provinces.

"Most of the victims are women and most of the e-mail senders supposedly come from Australia, United Kingdom and United States," the agency said.


The BOC cited the modus operandi by the suspects.

"Perpetrators usually get in touch with prospective victims online via chat or dating websites. After constantly communicating online for several weeks or even months, the perpetrators would send a message to their victims through email, promising to send gifts ranging from luxury bags, jewelry, laptop computers and other electronic gadgets via international door-to-door parcel," it said.

"They would be sent a tracking number and invoice for the purported shipment. After a few days, the victims receive an email allegedly coming from the Bureau of Customs informing them that packages would be sent to them after they pay duties and taxes to be deposited in a designated bank account or money transfer service. They email also details the breakdown of customs duties and taxes," it added.

Even after remitting or depositing money, the victims never got their packages, the BOC said.

"Please be advised that the Bureau of Customs does not give assessments and computations of duties and taxes by email. These are computed and written on official BOC document. Customs duties and taxes due payable only to the Bureau of Customs and not through any bank," the Customs bureau said. (SDR/Sunnex)

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