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Filipinos in Taiwan warned to beware of identity theft

2017/09/19 19:44:56

CNA file photo

Taipei, Sept. 19 (CNA) The Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) in Taipei has advised Filipinos in Taiwan to be on guard against identity theft and electronic fraud, following reports of Filipinos falling victim to unauthorized use of their bank cards and identity documents.

In a statement issued Monday, MECO said at least four Filipinos had been identified as victims of a fraud ring that used unclaimed automated teller machine (ATM) cards from a loan shark to carry out illegal transactions.

MECO said that in 2016, Taiwan police busted a Taiwanese-Filipino couple engaged in illegally lending money to Filipino factory workers in exchange for their ATM cards.

The cards were then allegedly sold to an online fraud ring for NT$5,000 (US$165) each, according to MECO.

MECO Chairman and Resident Representative Angelito Banayo said that type of fraud had been ongoing since 2012 and some Filipinos might be unaware that they had become victims.

Filipinos in Taiwan have also fallen prey to fraud rings that tricked them, allegedly by offering them free SIM cards for mobile phones, which required the use of the victims' Alien Resident Certificates or passports for registration, MECO said.

The rings then use the IDs of the Filipino nationals to commit illegal acts such as prostitution and drug trafficking, MECO said.

Banayo advised Filipinos in Taiwan to be careful about showing their personal documents, and to contact the local police and MECO for assistance if they suspect that they have become victims of fraud.

(By Christie Chen)