OWWA to OFWs: 'Beware of loan scam'

MANILA, Philippines – OFWs beware.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) issued a warning on Friday, August 14, to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in light of a loan scam that is circulating “throughout the OFW community.”

The scam allegedly asks OFWs to pay an amount of money in exchange for an OWWA loan. OWWA, however, says these messages are not from them.

Labor Attaché Nenita Garcia of POLO-Hong Kong SAR, reported that the office has been receiving calls from OFWs about the supposed loan and its requirements.

Scammers were asking for HKD $1,000 (about P6,000) to release the loan. A similar modus has also been reported to the Philippine labor office in Macau.

OWWA said they traced the scam to a Facebook account named "OWWA Loan," which has around 58 friends. The bogus account illegally uses the OWWA agency logo as profile picture.

OWWA has reported the fake account.

“OWWA is reminding all OFWs and the public to be vigilant of scams used by swindlers to deceive people nor to give any information, especially if financial in nature, to unidentified persons,” the agency said in a statement.

It added: “Furthermore, OWWA is advising everyone to transact only with OWWA offices to prevent being victimized by scams. OWWA highly encourages everyone to report suspicious information or transactions through the agency’s 24/7 Operation Center.”

Those who encounter the loan scammers may contact OWWA through these numbers and email:

Hotline: (+632) 551-1560 or (+632) 551-6641
Text: (0917) TxtOWWA or 0917-898-6992
Fax Number :  891-7601 to 24 or (+632) 804-0638
Email:  owwa_opcenter247@yahoo.com

– Rappler.com