It is sad to admit that our country is no longer safe. Much as you want to help people, sometimes you have second thoughts to do so because you are not sure if these people really do need your help or they are part of a syndicate that the part of them begging or asking for help is just a trap.
I read something on my news feed in my Facebook account warning women not to go to the comfort room located in SM North Edsa Annex (one of the famous malls in Manila, Philippines). The article said that there is a modus operandi where women who go to ladies’ comfort room alone will be held up by a lady too.
Apparently, there is a lady inside the ladies’ comfort room loitering, waiting for her next victim. If she sees you alone and that there are no other ladies inside the comfort room, that is the time that she will go near you and pull out a sharp object and will ask to hand all your belongings. It is really a scary world out there because these people are being so creative in stealing, hurting, and taking advantage of other people.
So the article suggested that never go to a public ladies’ comfort room alone. Always make sure you have someone with you inside or even outside near the entrance. If you came to the mall alone and you really need to pee, if the comfort room is almost empty meaning there are only one or two persons inside, I suggest that you just hold it and look for another rest room. Better be safe than sorry.
Another modus operandi that I read is about credit card scamming. One early evening, two persons went to the victim’s house. They pretended that they are Account Managers of Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), one of the well-established banks in our country. They will show you a letter with the logo of the bank signed by a manager or president of the bank stating that you are one of the chosen to have the credit limit increased to 1 million. Since the victim was overwhelmed with the “one million” as if it sounded that she won the lottery or something, she was not able to see their I.D.s and the letter if they were indeed legitimate.
What she needed to do was surrender her old credit cards to them so they can process a new credit card with the new credit limit. The perpetrators even brought out ziploc where they placed the credit cards and even wrote down in a piece of paper “For Cancellation.” They are that good that you will really think that everything was legitimate.
When the suspects left the premise, someone called the victim. He sounded gay. He was confirming if the two Account Managers left already. After she replied, the gay guy said that her new credit card will be delivered after three working days. When she hang up, that was the time she doubted everything.
She checked the letter again and called the number indicated there. Someone answered and said “BPI” in a not so professional voice. When she started asking questions, the lady hang up the phone. She called again but the number could not be reached anymore.
Then she decided to call the BPI Hotline. There, she realized that she was fooled. The Customer Service Representative told her they do not have that kind of promo. They do not send out Account Managers to clients’ homes during the evening and they do not replace a card for only three working days. Usually it might take five days or more.
It was a good thing that the victim was able to cut all her credit cards before unusual transactions have been made. So please be careful. Do not trust any one right away. Do not let them in your house. Never give out any sort of information about you or the people in your house. Always call the hotline or check the internet.