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 said.
The BI chief then reiterated that BI employees are not authorized to coordinate and make transactions outside the 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. The BI strongly warns the public against internet acquaintances. Remain keen to avoid being victimized,” he said.
Tansingco said he and other BI officials have already met with the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) to discuss said issues as well as other concerns regarding cybercrime that affects 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 page at www.facebook.com/officialbureauofimmigration.