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Scams and Fraud in the Philippines - Fake and Detestable Authorities

The Philippines is famous for erring policemen and authorities. It’s even generally accepted by most Filipinos that the Philippine Government is dishonest, and a majority of Government Employees and Politicians are crooked. There are a few who really work with integrity and honesty though, specially in the civil service section.

There are however people who pose as Government officials and Policemen who would try to extort money from you any which way they can. They often have ID’s with them to make their scam more real but these ID’s are often Fake or Expired. Even lowly traffic enforcers, Baranggay Tanod (Government Neighborhood Patrol Officers), and Mediamen will try to con you. There are even Airport and Immigration officers right at the Airport who will try to extort you. A recent news story reported how some American tourists from California U.S.A were stopped by two “supposed” Immigration officers and tried to swindle them at the Airport while they were flying back to the US. Since it was their first Visit to the Philippines, they had no clue why the officers were charging them with overstaying in the country even though they had taken all the proper proceedings for their stay. They were taken into a room and were told that they have to pay 1000 US$ each as penalty for overstaying. One of them excused himself to go to the bathroom and managed to call a Filipino friend and reported the situation. The Filipino friend of the American tourists rushed to the airport and called in security. He told airport officials that he will report the incident to the US Embassy and call up some media men. They released the tourists and they were able to board their flight. One of them was so scared that she promised herself not to return to the Philippines because of the incident. What a sad and humiliating story. If you ever get in trouble with these kind of scumbags, your best defense would be to consult your Embassy. Do not panic and be cool headed. They can only extort and exploit you if you panic or get scared. If they threaten you, threaten them back. Tell them you will report to your Embassy and that you know some Police officials (even if you don’t). Try to get out of the room they confined you in, in most cases, they will try to stop you but will definitely avoid hurting you.

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