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Public warned by BI against fake websites

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Beware of fake websites.

This warning was issued to the public by the Bureau of Immigration (BI), for them to be particularly cautious against fraudulent websites falsely claiming to be the agency’s eTravel site.

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco emphasized the importance of public vigilance in such cases, as he urged the public to immediately report any suspicious or fraudulent websites to the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC).

“We urge the public to be vigilant and exercise caution online. There are numerous scams on the internet, and the false use of e-travel credentials to steal data and trick people into sending payment pops up every now and then,” Tansingco said.

He added that they are worried that more scam websites could appear during the upcoming long weekend and holiday season, noting that the BI has received reports of people being victimized by scam sites, which unlawfully request payment for the use of the e-travel.

Tansingco emphasized that the use of the e-travel website is entirely free. The BI encourages all travelers to utilize the legitimate eTravel website for the smooth processing of their immigration requirements.

The platform may be accessed through the website etravel.gov.ph, and passengers are reminded to complete the online form at least 72 hours prior to their scheduled arrival or departure.

The eTravel was launched earlier this year, and serves as the single data collection platform for arriving and departing passengers. It establishes an integrated border control, health surveillance, and economic data analysis.

It is a joint project of the agency with the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Privacy Commission (NPC).

The project abolished the paper-based arrival and departure cards, as well as the quarantine form. It was hailed for lessening paper-based requirements for travelers, using a system similar to that used by other advanced countries.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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