The Bureau of Immigration (BI) warned against the proliferation of fake social media accounts on Facebook, using the photos and information of its employees and which mimic the official seal of the agency allegedly to mislead the public into transacting with them.
BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco issued the warning amidst reports that several scammers use social media accounts that pretend to be personnel of the BI.
“These scammers reportedly disguise as immigration lawyers and legal officers. They create profiles using photos of our employees, their badges, and even the logo of the Bureau,” Tansingco shared.
Tansingco then reiterated that BI employees are not authorized to coordinate and make transactions outside BI facilities and outside office hours.
“There have been reports in the past where fake social media profiles have fueled scams, and have gotten people duped out of money,” Tansingco shared.
Tansingco then expressed his dismay towards the increasing number of fake social media pages. “It is illegal to assume the identity of others, more so to demand money from anyone using the government’s name,” said Tansingco. “The BI strongly warns the public against internet acquaintances. Remain keen to avoid being victimized,” he added.
Immigration warns vs fake social media accounts
He shared that they have already met with the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) to discuss said issues as well as other concerns regarding cybercrime that affect BI operations.
For verification, the public is advised to call the BI’s hotline at (02) 8465-2400, or reach them thru the BI social media pages at www.facebook.com/officialbureauofimmigration and www.facebook.com/immigration.helpline.ph.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said its agents have arrested a Norwegian pedophile accused of sexually molesting minors in his country, and a Chinese man wanted for running a pyramid investment scam.
BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said 50-year-old Karstein Kvernvik a.k.a. Krokaa Karstein Gunnar, who was arrested last September 24 at his residence in Sameerah Subd., Angeles City, Pampanga, by operatives from the Bureau’s Fugitive Search Unit (FSU).
On the other hand, the Chinese fugitive was identified as 44-year-old Fu Qihao, who was arrested September 23 by FSU agents in Malate, Manila.