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Bantay OCW (Ang Boses ng OFW)

What happens online stays online?

/ 01:00 AM August 09, 2015

FILIPINOS working overseas who spend too much time working with no time to socialize, sometimes resort to social network to look for a prospective life partner.

What’s the appeal of social networking? According to Awake magazine of jw.org: “As simple as humans are hardwired to interact with humans but like driving a car, having a bank account or using a credit card, social networking has its share of risks.”

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An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) had a relationship with a 20-year-old Pinay he met through Facebook. The middle-aged worker was attracted with the profile photo of the girl, sent her friend requests, which she eventually accepted.

The OFW introduced himself. The girl was impressed with the OFW’s profile. Then after a few days, they were already in a relationship.

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After a few weeks, the girl appeared to be problematic. Being the good-natured Pinoy gentleman, he asked her to tell him her problems. The girl cried and said that she doesn’t have money to pay for her tuition, that her parents could not afford to send her to school anymore. The OFW felt obliged and as expected, went to the rescue of his online girlfriend.

He immediately sent her money for tuition, dormitory, books, school supplies, including allowances and her personal needs.

In return, the girl submitted fake school registration, fake receipts and other expenses.

Not contented with that, the Sugar Baby (SB) called the OFW and said that she was hospitalized and needed money for her hospital expenses. The OFW sent money again to his SB.

She was able to come up with a fake illness and submitted again fake receipts to her online boyfriend.

After sometime, she needed money again and thought of another scheme. SB said she met an accident and was robbed on her way home. At this point, the OFW was already hesitant to send money. He started to become suspicious.

He booked a flight back to the Philippines. He coordinated first with the government’s investigation agency, and SB was caught through its entrapment operation.

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SB admitted everything she told him were all lies. That she made up stories only to ask money from him. That she wasn’t a student and she submitted faked documents.

She also revealed that she made all those stories to fool her online boyfriend because she was pregnant and was abandoned by the man who impregnated her. She needed money for her delivery and to keep some for her baby.

The OFW was furious upon knowing all the lies but said he was willing to forgive her as long as she returns all his money. Would that be possible?

Awake magazine added that a social network is a business. Its objective is to make a profit, mainly through advertising. And to advertisers, the value of the network increases as more people join and those members’ posts are more widely shared.

Admittedly, children know more about the online world than their parents but they don’t have their level of judgment. Internet-safety expert Parry Aftab said: “Kids know more about technology. Parents know more about life.”

Awake reminds us that if we use a social network at all, always protect our privacy, be selective in adding friends online and monitor the amount of time we spend on it.

(Susan Andes, aka Susan K., can be heard over Radyo Inquirer dzIQ 990 AM, Monday to Friday, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 noon. Audio/video live streaming is at www.ustream.tv/channel/dziq. Website: www.bantayocwfoundation.org. Bantay OCW Foundation satellite office: 3/F 24H City Hotel. 1460 Vito Cruz Extension cor. Balagtas St., Makati City. Helpline: 0927-6499870. E-mail: [email protected]/[email protected])

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TAGS: Fraud, Internet, OFW, Online, online relationship, overseas Filipino worker, privacy, social network
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