Senior Supt. Ricardo de la Paz, Bacolod police director, yesterday ordered the intelligence and investigation branches to hunt down and arrest swindlers who are victimizing relatives of overseas Filipino workers.
De la Paz said the swindlers are not from Bacolod but they have a local contact in charge of looking for prospective victims.
Usually, some of the members of this swindling group befriend persons close to their victims so they can get information about their relatives abroad, De la Paz said.
One of the swindlers, pretending to be a government official, then calls their victim, saying that his or her relative abroad had an accident and is in need of money for hospital expenses, De la Paz added.
He advised the public, especially those with relatives abroad, to report to the nearest police station the calls received from persons who introduced themselves as ambassadors or attachés, for a possible entrapment operation.
In December last year, a Bacoleño received a call from a man who informed him that his brother, who works as a seaman, had an accident in Hong Kong, and needed financial assistance, but he later learned that his brother was in Belgium and was in good condition.
A retired teacher was also duped and lost P195,000 in cash to the swindlers who told her that her nephew, who works as a nurse in London, collapsed in an airplane after its arrival at Subic Bay in Pampanga, and needed financial help for his medication.
Just last week, a wife of another OFW from Bacolod was swindled of P109,000 in cash, when she was told that her husband was hospitalized.*APN